Steps to Take Right after a Disaster

Look to see what injuries family members may have sustained. Gather them together in the least risky place, to remain there, until you contact them. Check on pets, securing them with fresh water and food.


Call extended family and close friends to report everyone has survived. Ask them to spread the word among other friends.

For medical attention, go to your neighbor's home and dial for emergency vehicles. Also find out where survivor shelters are from one of the disaster relief agencies. Clear fallen trees from driveway using a power tool, so emergency vehicles can park there.

As you leave your house, be aware of exposed electrical wiring; shattered tree trunks that could dislodge from unstable positions; and protruding nails and glass shards. To protect your house from a possible fire, due to loose wiring, throw your electric power switch.

Examine your property for damage, using a flashlight if dark. If it has sustained major damage, protect it from looters. Grab cash, credit cards, and other easily-carried valuables to thwart looting. Lock down your property if you can. Otherwise place possessions in an extra locked car.

Call local authorities, telling them what damage has been sustained to your property.

Take a set of comprehensive photos to document damage to your entire property. Contact your insurance agent, reporting damage your property has sustained. Make an appointment for an appraisal. If repairs can be made to your house, call a contractor when you can.

Contact your workplace, informing them you can't come to work until you take care of business.

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