After a residential structure fire, recovering may become a very physically and mentally demanding process. When fire strikes, lives are suddenly turned around. Often, the hardest part is knowing where to begin and who to contact.
What should be done in the first 24 hours.
Contact your local disaster relief service, such as the American Red Cross or the Salvation Army, to help with your immediate needs, such as:
- temporary housing
- other essential items
Contact your insurance agent/company.
The American Red Cross
1565 Exposition Blvd,
Sacramento, CA 95815
- Do not enter the damaged site. Fires can rekindle from hidden, smoldering remains.
- Normally, the fire department will see that utilities (water, electricity and natural gas) are either safe to use or are disconnected before they leave the site. Do not attempt to turn on utilities yourself.
- Be watchful for structural damage caused by the fire. Roofs and floors may be damaged and subject to collapse.
- Food, beverages and medicine exposed to heat, smoke, soot and water should not be consumed.
Leaving Your Home
- Contact your local police departments to let them know the site will be unoccupied.
- In some cases it may be necessary to board up openings to discourage trespassers.
- Beginning immediately, save receipts for any money you spend. These receipts are important in showing the insurance company what money you have spent related to your fire loss and also for verifying losses claimed on your income tax.
- If it is safe to do so, try to locate the following items: