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Home Recovery Steps After Hurricane Damage

If you are returning to your home for the first time after a hurricane, it can be overwhelming, even with minor damage. These steps will guide you through the process.  

Here’s Where to Start!

As you work to regain a sense of normalcy, it is good to note that some things can be repaired by professionals while others may be do-it-yourself tasks. The key is to get started safely.

Last-minute Hurricane Prep & Recovery  
Quick, last-minute steps you can take and steps to recover quickly.


1) Protect yourself and others.

  • First, ensure everyone is safe.  
  • Communicate with loved ones. 
  • Do not enter a damaged home unless you are told it’s safe by local officials.  
  • Do not wade through standing water. 
  • Avoid downed power lines and assume all lines are live. 
  • Report downed power lines, fire, or gas leaks to local utility companies.  
1- Protect yourself adn othersHurricane_Michael_Damage_Doc_1018_IBHS_035_GARAGE

2) Assess and document any damage.

  • Document damage to your home. Take photos and videos of damaged items. 
  • Assess your roof for damage: 
    • Check your ceiling for water spots or stains. Inspect the attic for evidence of water leaks or standing water.
    • Look for missing shingles on your roof. 
2- Assess damage Michael_PanamaCity_RoofCover_Damage

3) Contact your insurer right away.

  • If you have damage, contact your insurance agent or insurer as soon as possible. Be ready to provide information such as contact info, policy number, type and date of loss, a description of the loss, and your business inventory. You should be assigned a claim number and adjuster who will work with you. 
  • Prepare for a visit from a claim field adjuster and answer all questions thoroughly.  
  • Fill out and return claim forms as soon as possible. Having an up-to-date home inventory will help. If you do not understand the process, be sure to ask questions and write down the explanation. 
3- Contact insurer

4) Take steps to mitigate further damage.

  • If damage is noted, hire a licensed and insured contractor to mitigate. 
  • While waiting for repairs, cover any broken windows or roof damage so additional water entry doesn’t occur. 
  • If there was interior water damage, hire a restoration service for water removal before mold becomes an issue. 
Damaged in hurricane Ian house roof covered with blue protective tarp against rain water leaking until replacement of asphalt shingles.

5) Keep receipts.

  • If you need to relocate, keep records and receipts for all additional expenses. Most insurance policies cover emergency living arrangements such as a hotel or temporary housing. 
  • Keep all receipts and documentation for any purchases or services rendered.  
  • Consider creating an electronic file for related expenses in a cloud storage account so you can access it from anywhere. 
checking a receipt by analyzing the numbers, expenses and profits. Business and finance concept. Home financial balance sheet

6) Clean up safely.

  • Use the appropriate personal protective equipment such as boots, long pants, long sleeved shirt, work gloves, eye protection, and disposable masks.  
  • Keep windows open to pull moisture out, especially while working indoors.  
  • Remove standing water if you haven’t already done so.  
  • Follow directions from local officials when placing items to discard by the curb. Be sure to remove any items that may have absorbed water such as couches, mattresses, rugs, and carpeting.  
  • Remove any drywall and insulation that was in contact with flood water.  
New Orleans, Louisiana, USA - March 20, 2006:  University students on Spring Break remove debris from an abandoned house in the Lower Ninth Ward. The Lower Ninth Ward was devastated by the storm and remains a shadow of its former self.

7) Build back stronger.

When you are ready to repair your roof or rebuild, demand for contractors will be high. We can help you find a professional. 

  • Build back stronger using the FORTIFIED construction method to reduce the likelihood of damage from future storms. Learn more about the FORTIFIED program and the solution that is right for your home. 
  • Hire a company to get started using the FORTIFIED directory which provides a network of trained, licensed and insured* professionals who can help you every step of the way.  

*Always ask your contractor to provide a copy of their certificate of insurance (COI) prior to work beginning on your home. 

7- Build back stronger- FORTIFIED home

Annual Home Prep

"Beautiful, luxurious House with nice landscaping  in Florida"

These annual maintenance activities will help reduce potential property damage. 

Home Upgrades

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If you’re renovating, re-roofing, or building new, consider these upgrades to make your home stronger against hurricanes. 

Crucial Steps Before a Hurricane

Storm clouds roll in from behind a house that gleams with late afternoon sunshine on Barbados.

When a storm appears to be approaching landfall, follow these last-minute steps to help reduce damage to your home. 

After a Damaging Hurricane

Home destroyed on FMB

These steps will guide you through the process to recover quickly.