Storms can bring extreme winds, heavy rain, and lightning. Any one of the three can cause a tree to fall. If that tree happens to be positioned near your home, you could end up with some serious damage.
Hopefully your home will stay safe in the event of a storm, but if a tree does happen to fall on your home, here are some steps you can take:
- Immediately evacuate the house – Every family must have an evacuation plan in place. All family members should be familiar with the home’s exits and know how to access them safely. Designate a meeting place where family members will gather after evacuating the home. Family members must have a “go bag” that they can grab quickly before leaving the home. It should contain critical documents, keys, cash, and other important items such as medication.
- Call 911 – Regardless of the size of the tree or branch that fell on your house, do not try to deal with it by yourself. Call the emergency dispatcher so they can send out the proper officials.
- Contact your insurance company – Most home insurance companies cover the damage caused by storms, including the costs associated with fallen trees. Your insurance may not cover the damage, or may limit their liability, if you had prior knowledge of a precarious tree near your home that you failed to act on.
- Call your roofing contractor – Having a trusted roofing contractor that you can call in an emergency will be better than picking out a random contractor at the last minute. The contractor might charge you exorbitant prices because of the emergency situation.
- Leave your home safe and secure – You may not be able to live in your house for a considerable length of time if the damage caused by the fallen tree is substantial. Ensure that windows and doors are locked so that your property inside is protected. Remove valuables as needed.
Plan a meeting with your family to discuss these important emergency procedures. Preparing in advance can make a big difference in safeguarding your home and, more importantly, your family.