House Fires And The Morning After
Fire consumes just about everything in its path. And it doesn't just take all the material objects of our lives, it can take our lives itself, our dreams, our hopes.
You can stand before the ashes of what things were, and feel absolutely shattered. Yet if you and those whom you love as still beside you, then take the lead and know that there are some things you need to do.
First, let your nerves calm themselves down. Whether you are overcome with shock or not, you need to think about where you can stay till you can get back on your feet. And what medicines you may need to counter the effects of smoke inhalation. You will slowly begin to realize that there are necessities that need to be taken care of, such as food, clothing.
Now, don't enter your home during the next 24 hours. There would be structure instability. And the floor or the ceiling may collapse. There could also be fires hidden in the remains. All it would need is some excess oxygen to feed it, or a spark. Even if they weren't burnt, no food, drink, or medications in your home is consumable anymore. They would lead to adverse effects and it is strongly suggested that you merely dispose of them once you are allowed to enter your house.
Just contact your local American Red Cross or Salvation Army and they could help you with food, clothing and shelter.
Now, you should collect every receipt for any money you spent after the fire as proof for the insurance company. It would also be useful when you would be filling out your income tax forms and have to verify the losses you would want to claim.
When you wish to return to your home, make sure people know where you are going. In case of any further accidents or anymore nasty surprises you would need a backup of sorts.
Now, once inside, and you will need to salvage any forms of identification, any insurance information you have, as well as any medication information. Anything that is absolutely necessary, you should get your hands on. You can also collect all your valuables. Once you leave, you can board up the house if you want to keep out trespassers or other curious people. This is also recommended to prevent people from walking into an unsafe zone.
You should also contact your local police department and notify them that your house would be unoccupied for an indefinite amount of time. Notify all people who need to know, of your relocation. Notify your family, friends, employers and your children's school. Notify the post office, utility companies and any delivery services. Inform them of your new address, or request them to put all of your deliveries on hold.
You should also give out your temporary address, to the police department and fire department. They might have questions, queries and answers for you with regards to the fire.
Eventually, you will find the strength to let you plan and organise just how you can put your life will be back in order.