Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Where to start when a disaster strikes you

After Disaster

  • Expect the best and worst from people
  • Follow-up, follow-up, follow-up
  • Keep record of who you spoke to, id numbers and when
  • The phone representatives are the experts and they are there to help you. When you feel yourself getting frustrated, hang up and speak to another representative. Keep in mind, if they can’t do something, they will tell you and you need to find an answer somewhere else or ask a different question. They really do want to help you as much as they are able when you speak to them.
  • Be patient, expect recovery to take years


  1. Contact your out of state and in state family members and notify them you are ok and how to reach you.
  2. In a large scale disaster go the Red Cross website and register that you are safe and location at


  1. Contact your insurance company and file claim
    1. Allstate 800-547-8676
    2. Auto Club 800-672-5246
    3. Farmers 800-435-7764 (24/7)
    4. State Farm 800-732-5246
    5. USAA 800-531-8222 (9-5 CST)
  2. Find out if damage is covered under policy?
  3. How long to file the claim?
  4. Do claims exceed deductible?
  5. How long to process claim?
  6. Need an estimate of repairs?
  7. Keep copies of all receipts (hotel, meal, clothing costs)
  8. Provide inventory and pictures
  9. Don't threaten to call your attorney. You won't win friends or get very far.
  10. If safe to return, take steps to prevent further loss or damage such as use tarps to cover roof holes or moving objects away from flood waters


Call your employer and let them know what happened, when it happened and how soon you can be back to work. Do you qualify for FMLA (medical), do you have sick or vacation days to cover missed time, and will the employer accommodate time off?


You need to register at the link or phone number below

800-621-3362 TTY 800-462-7585

  1. Social Security Number

  2. Description of losses caused by disaster

  3. Information

  4. Directions to damaged property

  5. A telephone number where you can be reached


Find out what state resources are available


If you have relocated, you need to update your address with Form 8822

Disaster assistance inquires 866-562-5227

Personal taxes 800-829-1040

Post Office;jsessionid=EF9351B3797A6D37385B9DAE55EB9A0D or visit local post office for change address kits


  1. Light
  2. Water
  3. Gas
  4. Phone
  5. Internet


Explain the situation and request hardship deferral

  1. Bank/Credit Union
  2. Credit Cards
  3. Student Loans
  4. Mortgage
  5. Car Loans
  6. Other Loans

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