Did I ever tell you about the time my home was hit by lightening? Yep, I mean a lightening bolt through the roof while I was at home with the kids. It was a interesting experience and luckily, no one was hurt. I didn’t know exactly what had happened at first , but I had a good idea we had been hit. Around the time the thunder sounded I heard a loud “BOOM” and then all the fire alarms starting going crazy. Oh, and then there was my three year old and my 2 month old screaming….fun times. So I wanted to share my first “real” experience with a home emergency, and some things I might have done differently if I had to do it over again.
We had only been in our home a few months when this happened, and I was less than thrilled to have to file my first homeowners claim. Speaking of the claim, it ended up being 10 thousand dollars! I knew immediately that there was going to be some serious damage after I opened the door to the garage and saw black “soot” around the electrical switch.
I tried to turn the TV on, and it was dead. I tried to unplug and then plug up our refrigerator to see if it worked, but it was also dead. I ran to the bedroom and tried that TV; dead as well. And then I looked over at the night stand and saw the end of my phone charger was black. My heart sank…..this was going to be bad.
My first thought was to calm the babies. After they settled down I tried to decided if I should call the fire department. I didn’t smell smoke but what if there was a fire in the attic that I couldn’t see?
I decided I would hold off on calling any emergency response team. Other than everything being dead, I thought everything was ok. This is one of those things I should have done differently if I could do it all over again.
Although we did not have a fire anywhere, it would have been smart to go ahead and get it checked out by a professional. How did I really know we didn’t have a small electrical fire in a wall or in the attic?
I’m so thankful no one was touching, or plugging up, anything to any of the electrical outlets because every.single.thing. that was plugged in was shot, gone, “dead as a door nail.”
It might make a little more sense now when I say that the claim was a whopping ten thousand dollars. It can add up quickly when you start adding everything that was plugged into an outlet. Biggest bummer of all was that we had just purchased a new washer, dryer, refrigerator and dishwasher only a month before.
Things like this happen; this is life. Owning a home is a wonderful thing, but it can come with some serious headaches too.
Here are the things that matter most when it comes to dealing with an emergency situation when it strikes your home.
- Fast Response
When something goes wrong, the first thing that you need to do is react quickly to it. If you are not fast to deal with the situation and get the right help with it, you will put your home at greater risk.
Don’t be so relaxed about the situation that you underestimate its importance and significance.
- The Right Expert Help
Having the right expert in place to put things right for you is essential. After we got hit by lightening, we needed to call the roofer, the AC guy, the electrician, the plumber (yes even the plumber because our grinder pump was dead), and the list goes on.
That evening after everything settled down a little bit, my husband and I started trying to figure out what we could repair on our own.
I should have told myself to STOP, this was a bad idea.
Luckily we didn’t get too far into our own repairs before we realized this problem was bigger than what we had the skills for.
If your home requires big repair work, don’t try to carry it out alone. There are things like emergency water damage services that can be used.
- A Calm Head
It’s always best if you have a calm head when you are dealing with these kinds of situations. If you can’t stay calm, you won’t be able to react in the right way to the situation. This is something that applies both to the situation as it’s unfolding, as well as the response to putting things right afterwards.
- Perspective on the Situation
You should try to remember that things are probably not as bad as they could have been. As long as everyone is safe and no one got hurt, that’s what matters most. I’ll be honest, some of my first thoughts after our “emergency” were not the best. I kept thinking “I can’t believe we’ve just lost thousands of dollars…..”
Bottom line; Everything else is just property, and that matters far less than the people in your life.
- Rational Decision-Making
You definitely need to make sure that you are rational about what you do. If you make the wrong kinds of decisions, you will make the process take even longer than it has to. If you don’t think you’re in a place to make these rational decisions, ensure you’re surrounded by people who are.
- Patience with the Situation
Finally, you need to make sure that you have as much patience as you can possibly have with the situation. I wanted everything to be “fixed” within days. After only a week dealing with this home emergency, my patience had run really thin. Little did I know it would take a full 5-6 months to get everything back in working order again. Expecting too much, too soon will only lead to disappoint for you as it did for me.
Learn to let it go, it’s just stuff and not what’s important.
Dealing with this home emergency was a huge headache. It took countless hours with the insurance company and many many repair men to get things back in working order. I did learn a vital lesson though; Always keep in sight what matters most. Material items can always be replaced, and as long as your family is safe, that is what matters most.
As always, thanks for listening and following along.
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