What Are The First Preliminary Steps That I Should Take if a Tornado Hits My House in Texas?

Being in the middle of a tornado can be one of the most terrifying events that an individual may ever have to deal with in their life. If your home takes a direct hit from a tornado there are several steps that you should take in order to minimize the risk of injury to both yourself and family members.

  • Check to ensure you and your family members are all safe. Check for injuries and do not move any individual who is seriously wounded unless they are in immediate danger.
  • Be certain to use extreme caution when entering or exiting your home or structure.
  • Safely access the damage that has occurred. Be extremely alert to downed power lines or any objects that have made contact with them, especially water, as this poses a high risk for electrocution.
  • Do not attempt to enter a flooded home or structure if the electricity may still be on. Report any electrical hazards to authorities.
  • Be extremely cautious around any fallen tree or limbs that may be present. Falling tree limbs are a large contributing factor to both injuries and death following a tornado.
  • If you are using a chainsaw or other power tools, make sure to learn how to operate them properly by following the recommended safety procedures.
  • If you smell what you believe to be gas in your home, leave the area immediately and call the gas company. If it is safe for you to do so, turn off the main gas valve. Do not light candles or matches, smoke, or use landlines or cell phones.
  • If possible, use battery-powered flashlights and lanterns for light.

What Kind of Temporary Repairs Can I Make to My House After Tornado Damage?

If your home has received tornado damage, it is your responsibility to make temporary repairs to minimize any further loss. It is extremely important that you first document all of the damage before you make any repairs by taking pictures and videos.

Temporary repairs include boarding broken windows, removing a tree from your home, and tarping your roof. Be sure to keep all the receipts for any items you purchase to make the temporary repairs. Your insurer will ask for them at a later time.

Even though it may be tempting to throw away any damaged or destroyed items, do not do so until after they have been evaluated by your insurance adjuster.

If you are not certain that you understand the claims process, or need answers to legal questions regarding your policy, contact our law firm. We can answer any questions that you may have as well as review your policy. We also will be happy to assist you with filing your property damage claim. Call us at 855-786-7674 and schedule a free initial consultation today.

Should I Wait a Certain Amount of Time to File a Claim For the Tornado Damage to My House?

If your home has sustained damage from a tornado, you should never wait to file a claim. There are strict time limits in the state of Texas as to how long you have to file a property damage claim. Often when a significant natural disaster strikes an area, there are many claims that are filed with the insurance companies. When this occurs, insurers often want to change their own policies to avoid a large payout. This could affect the compensation that you ultimately receive for your claim.

Do I Have to Use My Insurance Company’s Contractor, or Can I Use My Own?

Typically, when you file a property damage claim with your insurance company, they will send out what is called a “recommended contractor.” They will tell you that utilizing someone from their network is the fastest way to return your home to its previous condition.

Insurance companies often employ their own network of contractors to help keep their expenses down. Their preferred contractors are given a large amount of work in exchange for them performing the work at a lower cost than other contractors.

There is nothing unethical about these types of procedures that the insurance company may use. Nevertheless, you are not obligated to do so in any way.

Why Should I Hire an Attorney if My House is Hit By a Tornado?

Surviving a tornado and all of the problems that accompany it can be overwhelming. A skilled property damage claim attorney can assist you with filing the paperwork to ensure that it is free of any errors that could delay payment for your claim. We can also fight for your rights if the insurance company attempts to undervalue or deny compensation.

Call our law offices at 855-786-7674 and schedule an appointment to meet with a member of our legal team who can answer your questions and help determine how you should best proceed with your claim.