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The historical winter storm had some beautiful moments, but the clean up and recovery is going to take some time. Read on for details on immediate action, insurance claims and temporary housing options.
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TURN OFF YOUR MAIN LINE
Locate your water shut-off valve, which is usually under a lid near the street. And have the proper tools (channel locks or water valve shut-off tool) ready for closing the main water shutoff valve (usually 180 degrees clockwise) if you start to flood. Minutes saved could save thousands of dollars in damage.
PHOTOGRAPH & RECORD EVERYTHING
Take photos of everything, AND I mean everything – from contents of cabinets and specific items to entire rooms, before you start moving items. You want to maintain as many records and photographic evidence as possible. The photos taken of kitchen cabinets, for example, are extremely helpful to show to the contractor.
DOCUMENTATION & INSURANCE
Maintain a written OR electronic record of everything that you discard including lost food and items in your shed, garage or attic. Keep all records in a binder. Insurance companies and relief programs will require documentation and estimates of your losses. Contact your insurance company to start claims; this process can take a while so start as soon as possible
Unfortunately, disasters bring out the best and worst in people. Disaster events are a beacon for opportunistic predators. Avoid the three most common scams: home repair, identity theft and donation scams. Never pay in full today for a promise of services later and avoid using cash.
REMOVE WET ITEMS
Since mold is a concern with homes that have water or flood damage, remove wet and soiled carpets, flooring, and sheetrock as soon as possible. Dry out your home using fans and dehumidifiers. It is important that you rid your home of all moisture before rebuilding. Have your studs tested with a moisture reader.
Over the next several weeks, we all come to know about friends, neighbors and organizations that need help getting people through the aftermath of the storm. Here are few places that need our help NOW.
HAAM provides access to affordable healthcare for Austin’s low-income, working musicians, with a focus on prevention & wellness. Many Austin musicians are self-employed and have no access to health insurance or basic healthcare. They often work multiple jobs and struggle to pay for food, clothing & shelter, with nothing left for healthcare.
Meals on Wheels seeks to nourish and enrich the lives of the homebound and other people in need through programs that promote dignity and independent living. This is one of the largest meal-delivery organizations in the state, distributing 3,000 meals each business day to homebound older adults and people with disabilities.
Everyone can help by conserving electricity and water – this will be especially important as power continues to be restored across the state:
1. Keep your thermostat at 68 or lower
2. Don’t wash/dry laundry or run dishwasher
3. Keep showers/baths short
4. Unplug all non-essential appliances
5. Only drip faucets when temperature is below 32 degrees
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The information contained herein does not purport to be complete nor, necessarily, accurate and should be independently verified; nor does it represent or constitute a legal analysis or financial advice. All of the financial projections and/or conclusions are provided for illustration purposes only. Compass and its agents disclaim any and all liability for representations and warranties, express or implied, contained in, or for omissions from, the information contained herein or any other written or oral communication transmitted or made available to the recipient. This represents an estimated sale price for this property. It is not the same as an opinion of value in an appraisal developed by a licensed appraiser under the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice.