If you’ve experienced a fire in your home, you know how difficult it is afterward. You want to salvage as many belongings as possible, but there are delays, dangers to consider and confusion about where you will live in the meantime.
Here are a few basics that will help you in the days and weeks after a fire.
Focus on the health of yourself and your family. Smoke inhalation symptoms can appear after the fire is out. Seek medical attention if anyone experiences a persistent cough, wheezing or vomiting.
Listen to the fire department. They will assess the damage once the fire is out and let you know if you can remove any personal belongings. You might have to fill out forms cataloging each item that you remove.
Do not re-enter your home without permission from the fire department. You may have to be escorted if you are allowed in, especially if there is structural damage.
Get a contact name with the fire department. It will help if you know the person to reach out to with any issues or questions.
Contact your insurance company to inform them of what has happened, and find out how they can help you with accommodations etc.
Watch for stress and fatigue symptoms in your family members, especially children. There will be many things happening at the same time, while all of you are in a high-stress situation. Talking to children regularly to reassure them, and taking breaks when you need to, are crucial to your family’s well-being.