Life After a Tornado - How to Rebuild

How to Rebuild After a TornadoWhen a tornado strikes your community emotions run high and it’s hard to maintain a sense of normalcy after a disaster like this. Upon your first inspection of the damage, conditions might look as if the damage is irreparable. The stress of bearing such emotional AND financial burdens might seem too much for you to handle all at once. Starting over seems almost impossible...so much destruction! You might start asking yourself these questions:

  1. Do I have money saved for an event like this?
  2. Will my insurance cover a tornado?
  3. Are there programs, organizations, family or friends that can help me?

Before you start beating yourself up, it is totally natural for you to ask if something could have been done to protect your home. Instead of feeling hopelessness, annoyance and bitterness towards the situation think about your future. When should the cleanup, repairs and rebuilding start? How do you even begin? Is it affordable to rebuild at this time? Don’t worry! There are ways to save time and money after a tornado has upset your life.

First of all, we are not trying to make this sound easy. It’s definitely never easy to rebuild your life. However; with determination and hard work this can and will be accomplished. Consider the questions that must be answered.

  1. Was there total or partial damage?
  2. Do all of your belongings have to be replaced?
  3. Should calculations of needs (today and in the future) be thought out?

After asking yourself these questions and answering them, it’s time to start the rebuild! Below are tips that will help tremendously in saving both time and money.

  • Hire a contractor that is able to fund the beginning of the rebuild. It usually takes insurance companies a few months to send you the money.
  • Insurance claims also cover your possessions. Take inventory of all non-salvageable items by taking pictures. You can even take pictures of your damaged foot items for food lost.
  • If you are making new purchases to replace things that were lost – KEEP ALL OF YOUR RECEIPTS!
  • Ask for advances from your insurance adjustor. Advances can be used for living expenses like clothes, food and toiletries.
  • Check to see of your insurance policy covers storage for those items that were not damaged.

Also helpful are the tips below which you should think about in the days immediately after a tornado.

  1. Get a rough time line from your insurance agent on the next steps.
  2. Arrange cleaning or restoration service for clothes, house and property.
  3. Coordinate your work schedule if needed.
  4. Arrange schedules for child care providers if needed.
  5. Contact your utility companies.
  6. Contact your mortgage holder or landlord.
  7. Rent a postal box if mail needs to be redirected.
  8. Arrange for a security service to prevent looting if needed.
  9. Rent a storage unit for vehicles and possessions.
  10. Obtain boxes with folders to hold documents and receipts.

You can also check out our article series: How to Recover from Disaster for more information and resources.