We recently experienced devastating wild land fire in our neighboring counties. Many have experienced great loss, their homes and property completely destroyed by fire.

This is an attempt to be of assistance to our neighbors. In this post you will find some web sites that could be helpful, and information on what to do next.

First and foremost is the safety and health of your family and pets, with those two things secured, you might move on to some of the items below.

Vital information

Per FEMA, this information may be required in many of your contacts with Insurance and service providers, it can be helpful to have it all in one place and easy to access. Gather as much as you, can as soon as you can, not all items on the list will apply.

  • Date of fire:
  • Time of fire:
  • Location of fire:
  • Vehicle identification number for cars, trucks, and motorcycles destroyed:
  • Name of the responding fire department:
  • Address of the responding fire department:
  • Nonemergency telephone number of responding fire department:
  • Fire incident report number issued by the responding fire department:
  • Fire marshal or fire investigator:

Checklist for next steps after a fire

  • Here are the steps to follow after a fire in your home:
  • Contact your local disaster relief service, such as the Red Cross. They will help you find a place to stay for awhile and find food, medicines, and other important things.
  • If you have insurance, contact your insurance company. Ask what you should do to keep your home safe until it is repaired. Find out how they want you to make a list of things that were lost or damaged in the fire. Ask who you should talk to about cleaning up the mess. If you are not insured, try contacting community groups for aid and assistance.
  • Check with the fire department to make sure your home is safe to enter. Be very careful when you go inside. Floors and walls may not be as safe as they look.
  • The fire department will tell you if your utilities (water, electricity, and gas) are safe to use. If not, they will shut these off before they leave. DO NOT try to turn them back on by yourself. This could be very dangerous.
  • Contact your landlord or mortgage company about the fire.
  • Try to find valuable documents and records. See the website below about how to get new copies if you need them. http://www.fema.gov/news-release/2015/06/19/after-disaster-replacing-lost-or-damaged-documents
  • If you leave your home, call the local police department to let them know the site will be vacant.
  • Begin saving receipts for any money you spend related to fire loss. The receipts may be needed later by the insurance company and to prove any losses claimed on your income tax.
  • Check with an accountant or the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) about special benefits for people recovering from fire loss. http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/i4684.pdf