Safety and Weather How to Recover From a Disaster 08/27/20 After the devastation of a hurricane, tornado, severe thunderstorm or flood, you may wonder: Where do I go from here? As you’re picking up the pieces and trying to rebuild your life, make sure you are taking careful steps. Injuries can happen in the aftermath of a disaster just as easily as during it. Follow these tips and take precautions as you recover from the disaster and determine the damage it caused. If you had to evacuate your home, return only after authorities say it’s safe to do so. If returning to your home after evacuating, watch for debris-filled streets. Walk and drive with caution. If anyone is injured, administer first aid and contact emergency personnel immediately. Contact your local Alfa® agent and report damage to your home or file your claim online as soon as possible. Watch your step! Areas may be covered with sharp debris, broken glass and downed power lines. Even puddles can contain dangerous debris, sewage or chemicals. Step carefully on porches and stairs that may be weakened. Look up too! Watch for any limbs or debris hanging above you. Drive cautiously on any bridge in the damaged area. If you’re unsure, ask the authorities or avoid it completely. Before entering a building, check for structural damage and make sure it’s not in danger of collapsing. Make temporary repairs to your property to prevent additional damage. Remember that people aren’t the only ones that may be driven from their homes. Storms and high waters can drive out snakes, insects and other animals as well — even alligators in some areas. The Emotional Damage of Disasters Not all the damage from disasters is visible. Emotional distress and stress are common in the aftermath and can appear weeks or months after a devastating event. Victims are likely to experience at least one of several emotional responses: anger, fatigue, loss of appetite, sleeplessness, nightmares, depression, inability to concentrate, hyperactivity or increased alcohol or drug use. Here are some ways to help cope: Talk about your feelings with family, friends and neighbors. Sharing common experiences can help you overcome anxiety and feelings of helplessness. Get back into daily routines as soon as you can. Try to keep a healthy diet, get plenty of sleep and do some exercise every day. Children are especially prone to emotional stress after a disaster, including fear of the dark, crying, fear of being alone and constant worry. Reassure children they are safe. Encourage them to talk about their fears. And hold and hug them frequently. Alfa can provide you with homeowners’ insurance that covers wind storm damage from a hurricane. We also offer affordable flood insurance for additional protection when devastating disasters strike. Contact your local Alfa agent today to learn more. All coverages are subject to deductibles and policy limits. This is not an insurance policy. It is intended only to provide a general description of Alfa Insurance® and/or its product lines and services. An actual policy contains the specific details of the coverages, conditions and exclusions.