Safety 101: What To Do If a Tree Falls On Your House During a Storm
Do you know what you would do if a tree fell on your house? It’s okay if you don’t; no one likes to think about worst-case scenarios. However, thinking ahead and making plans can help you be as safe as possible in the unlikely event that your house is damaged by a falling tree. Keep reading to learn what to do if a tree falls on your house during a storm.
Safety First: Protect People Before Property
If a tree falls on your house, you should make sure that everyone in your household is safe. If your family has a fire evacuation plan, it is time to put it into action. If you don’t have a plan, get everyone out of the house and away from the tree as quickly and safely as possible. If the storm outside is unsafe, get to a neighbor’s house immediately.
Call 911 once everyone is out of the house. Hopefully, there are no injuries, but be sure to provide precise details on their injuries to the emergency operator if someone is hurt. In addition to dispatching the fire department and EMS, they might contact a public utility representative to ensure your home’s safety from electrical fires and gas leaks.
They will possibly send out a public utility representative or fire crew to make sure your home is safe.
Occasionally, storms disrupt power grids. When a tree falls onto a home, there’s always the potential that electricity wires will be damaged. This puts you and your family in danger of fire or deadly electrical shock. There are several signs that a power line is down, such as no electricity in the house or flickering lights.
You may be able to see whether a power line is trapped beneath the fallen tree. If this is the case, make your best effort to shut off the power at the breaker box. If it’s not safe for you to access the breaker box, wait for emergency services to arrive.
As a preventative measure, make sure everyone in your household is aware of common home safety hazards.
Once Everyone Is Safe: Prevent Further Damage
If everyone in your household is safe and emergency services have told you that it’s safe to be in and around the home, you can start taking steps to prevent further damage.
For example, water damage is one of the most common problems homeowners face after a tree falls on their house. To prevent this, put a tarp over openings in the home to prevent water from entering. Be sure to secure the tarp with heavy-duty tape, bricks, or boards so that it doesn’t blow away in the wind. If you have the necessary materials, implement any home floodproofing measures you can.
Do not attempt to cover any holes on the roof as parts of it may be insecure. It’s best to contact a roofing professional and set up an appointment as soon as possible.
You should also make an effort to secure any loose branches still attached to the tree. Loose branches can fall and cause additional damage or injure someone, so minimize the time you spend near the downed tree.
Contact Your Insurance Company
Once you’ve taken steps to secure your home and prevent further damage, you should contact your insurance company. Many homeowners’ insurance policies cover damage caused by fallen trees, but it’s always best to check with your specific policy to be sure.
Some companies require that you file a claim within a specific timeframe, typically 24 to 48 hours, so be sure to do this as soon as possible.
You will likely need to provide photos of the damage, a list of any damaged belongings, and an estimate of the repairs that will be necessary. Your insurance company will then assign an adjuster to your case who will contact you to schedule an inspection.
Take Steps to Prevent Future Accidents
After a tree has fallen on your house, it’s crucial to take measures to prevent future accidents. Trees close to the house or have dead branches are more likely to fall, so be sure to have these trees inspected by a professional.
In addition, you should make sure that your home is outfitted with proper rain gutters and downspouts. These can help prevent water damage by redirecting rainwater away from your home.
You should also have a plan for what to do if a tree falls on your house. This way, you and your family will know what to do, and everyone will remain safe.
Stay Prepared to Protect Your Peace of Mind
Though you may never know when a tree will fall on your house, you can be prepared for every situation by following these tips. Being proactive and knowing what to do in an emergency can help minimize the damage and keep everyone safe. Use these tips as a guide to create your emergency plan so that you’re always ready for anything.