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Often, after a severe storm hits and damage occurs, homeowners can feel overwhelmed with what steps to take for a successful recovery.  If you haven't already constructed your own plan of action for post-storm damage and power outages, we’ve provided this check list for you to use as a basic guide.  

After a tornado/storm

Check for injured or trapped persons. Do not move them unless they are in immediate danger of further injury. If you have evacuated, wait until authorities tell you it's safe before returning home.
Be alert for other tornadoes and severe weather.
Stay away from standing water.
Sniff for gas leaks. If you smell gas or suspect a leak, turn off the main gas valve, if possible, and evacuate. If you have any concerns, notify a professional.
Do not touch downed power lines or wires.
Be careful moving through any wreckage. Watch for nails, exposed metal, loose boards, etc. that could cause injury. Make sure your tetanus shot is up to date and, if not, seek immediate medical assistance for any injuries.
If you can, videotape or photograph the damage.
Save remnants of damaged or destroyed property for your insurance company adjuster, and do not sign agreements with contractors or anyone else until you have a chance to meet with your insurance adjuster.
Keep a written record of everyone you talk to about your insurance claim, including the date of the conversation and a summary of what was said.
Keep all receipts including documents that reflect costs for temporary housing, clothing, food and other living expenses. Since tornado claims are frequently total losses, you may receive payment for some of these costs  immediately.
Your pre-disaster home inventory will be of great assistance to you at this point. After you've examined everything and determined the extent of damage, call your independent insurance agent as soon as possible to file an insurance claim.


GENERATOR SAFETY**

The primary hazards to avoid when using a generator are carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning from the toxic engine exhaust, electric shock or electrocution, and fire. Follow the directions supplied with the generator. To avoid electrocution, keep the generator dry and do not use in rain or wet conditions. Operate it on a dry surface under an open canopy-like structure, such as under a tarp held up on poles. Do not touch the generator with wet hands.

Be sure to turn the generator off and let it cool down before refueling. Gasoline spilled on hot engine parts could ignite!


Store fuel for the generator in an approved safety can. Use the type of fuel recommended in the instructions or on the label on the generator.
Local laws may restrict the amount of fuel you may store, or the storage location. Ask your local fire department.
Store the fuel outside of living areas in a locked shed or other protected area. To guard against accidental fire, do not store it near a fuel-burning appliance, such as a natural gas water heater in a garage.
Plug appliances directly into the generator, or use a heavy duty, outdoor-rated extension cord that is rated (in watts or amps) at least equal to the sum of the connected appliance loads.
Check that the entire cord is free of cuts or tears and that the plug has all three prongs, especially a grounding pin.
Never try to power the house wiring by plugging the generator into a wall outlet. Known as “backfeeding,” this practice puts utility workers, your neighbors and your household at risk of electrocution.
Remember, even a properly connected portable generator can become overloaded, resulting in overheating or generator failure. Be sure to read the instructions.
If necessary, stagger the operating times for various equipment to prevent overloads. 

If you have any questions about this news bulleting or need help with a claim, please contact us at (203) 481-2684.  We are ready to assist you.
*https://www.independentagent.com/News/PressReleases/Pages/2013/TC05232013_HurricaneSeason/tornadoes.aspx
**http://www.redcross.org/get-help/how-to-prepare-for-emergencies/types-of-emergencies/power-outage/safe-generator-use