Moving on after a wildfire destroys your home and belongings can seem impossible. However, knowing where to begin and where to get help is a great start to putting your life back together. The wildfire litigation attorneys at Demas Law Firm recommend taking the following steps to help you and your family through this difficult time.
Even after getting to safety immediately after escaping a wildfire, it’s important to remember that there are still potential health and safety risks that linger. These include things like water, smoke damage, soot, and hotspots. Just because the fire has moved on, doesn’t mean it’s safe to return to assess the damage of your belongings. You should only return to your property once government officials lift all evacuation orders. Even then, you must remain extremely cautious when returning to any damaged area. Don’t be afraid to ask for help if needed.
Reach Out for Help
There are dozens of local shelters and organizations that can offer food, living accommodations, and other basic necessities to Butte County fire victims. You should reach out to any type of disaster relief services, like American Red Cross, FEMA, etc. to get any immediate needs taken care of. Chances are, you won’t be able to return home for an extended period of time. It is important to find someplace safe to settle, such as an available hotel, in the meantime. Be sure to keep all receipts for things like housing and food.
Call your Insurance Company
You should report any property damage immediately to your insurance company. Speak to the insurance company in person or on the phone before listening to any offers from public adjusters offering deals to help you rebuild your home. You agent will outline a plan for how you should proceed.
Record a List of your Losses
Start writing down everything that you have lost in the Butte County fire. Include estimated values of all personal belongings and property. It is important to be as detailed as possible when making this list. Take photos of the damage and gather any electronic receipts from past purchases if possible.
Get Advice on Rebuilding
Reach out to friends and neighbors to get advice on who to contact for the rebuilding process. You need to gather a list of companies and contractors that you know you can trust. They will provide you with estimates on cleanup and rebuilding. Reach out to the insurance company to see who will be responsible for paying these fees. Most insurance policies will cover these expenses.
Go through the Insurance Investigation
An investigation will be launched soon after you file your claim. It is important to cooperate with the investigation so it moves forward as quickly as possible. During any natural disaster, such as the Butte County Camp Fire, insurance investigations may be expedited, providing relief faster than usual.
Contact Demas Law Group
Call the wildfire litigation attorneys at Demas Law Group for a free consultation about how to proceed. You may need to pursue compensation through additional means if you aren’t totally covered by your current insurance policy. We can help. Our attorneys will explore every possible legal option for you and help you and your family move on after the devastating fires in Butte County.