Natural disasters can strike at any time. Depending on the severity and extent of the damage on a geographic area, several families can find themselves displaced, facing a daunting cleanup process that could take months. If you someday become one these unfortunate victims, here’s what you should know about the process.

First Responders Help

One of the main priorities immediately after a disaster such as a hurricane or tornado is the rescue effort. First responders may set up a staging area complete with disaster tools and equipment to ensure they’re at the ready to provide whatever is needed along the way for as long as it takes.

Insurance Adjusters File Claims

Once the immediate danger has subsided, the cleanup and restoration process can begin. In some cases, special catastrophe insurance adjusters, who have experience handling such severity and scope, are deployed to figure out what damage is covered and how much will be paid out accordingly. They may also assist with providing immediate funds for temporary housing, clothing, and other basic necessities according to policy limits.

Homeowners Will Be Relocated

If your home is deemed unlivable because the area is without power, water or sanitation, it may be prudent to leave town while the cleanup begins. While disaster assistance organizations like Federal Emergency Management Agency may provide for homeowners who have been displaced, you may also consider staying with unaffected friends or relatives nearby to ensure whatever valuables or mementos can be saved are protected and preserved in the aftermath.

Cleanup Will Begin

The long, arduous task of cleaning up after a natural disaster will get underway as soon as it’s safe. With resources spread among other affected homeowners, you may be left with some of this work on your own. It’s important to use proper safety equipment and to sanitize surfaces thoroughly, especially when flood waters are involved. This process is lengthy but vital.

A natural disaster is a multifaceted recovery process, but it’s important to know that you won’t be doing it alone along the way.