After a Fire


Once you get over the initial shock of a fire, coping with the aftermath can be physically and mentally draining. If the entire structure burned, you may find yourself literally reconstructing your life from scratch. Otherwise, your recovery will be less painful but still an ordeal. The following information will give you some direction on where to start and where to find help.

Immediate Assistance
Contact a local disaster relief service, such as the American Red Cross, at (386) 226-1400, or 1-888-843-5748 for those outside the 386 area code, to get help with immediate needs such as temporary housing, food, medicine, clothing and other essentials. Do not use e-mail in an emergency. Use the phone. The Salvation Army, at (386) 236-2020, also provides similar disaster assistance.

Secure the Property
To prevent looting or further loss, arrange to have the property secured immediately. Most insurance policies require it. If possible, do not remove items before an insurance adjuster arrives.

Contact your insurance company as soon as possible. Many policies provide funds for emergency lodging and living expenses until you are able to move back into your home. Keep all receipts. If you are a tenant, contact the owner or the owner's insurance agent. The owner is responsible for preventing further loss to the property, but the owner's insurance, in most cases, will not cover the cost of a tenant's personal belongings.