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Preparing for Disaster: Fire Restoration Companies Know All Too Well – It can happen to you, best to be ready

12 November, 2022

Posted by John Niewiecki

Preparing for Disaster: Fire Restoration Companies Know All Too Well – It can happen to you, best to be ready


Although focuses specifically on business development for the fire, water, smoke, and severe weather damage restoration industry, we are experts as well in helping victims of such circumstances. We are hoping those in the restoration and disaster recovery industry who visit this site regularly will find value in sharing this article with their potential customers as a goodwill gesture to build brand equity and trust among those who may need their services someday.

How often in our lives have we said, “Nah, that isn’t going to happen to me” . . . and it did? The loss of one’s home or business is almost too much to consider, especially today when everything appears to be scarce. But as scary as it is to ponder, it is worse if one of our bigger fears in life is realized.

Whether your home is new or old, it is susceptible to fire, water, smoke, and of course severe weather damage. New homes with a wiring error could be ticking timebombs. Old homes with extremely dry timber or chimneys lined with creosote are without a doubt a fire hazard. And any home can be struck with massive water damage as weather events that are unlikely to happen sometimes do.

The first and obvious step to restoring your home and life after structure damage is to have insurance, and the right insurance for your home. Are you sure you are covering both your home and the contents? Insurance policies do not cover both necessarily. This is priority number 1.

The second, and less obvious necessity to prepare for a loss of your home or business due to fire, smoke, water, or severe weather damage is pictures of the contents in your home, backed up on a cloud service such as what is offered by Google and Amazon (although there are many others that are reliable and affordable).

The first thing most insurance companies will do when you make a claim is ask for proof of what you claimed you lost. Did you really have a Picasso in your living room? They’ll question that! In all seriousness though, it isn’t a stretch of the imagination to believe people will claim to have more valuables in their home than what actually existed, and insurance companies know this of course. Having visual proof of your most prized possessions stored elsewhere in which a fire or flood cannot affect them is key.

Sean Scott, Author of the book The Red Guide to Recovery sells a “Personal Property Memory Jogger & Home Inventory Tool” which is essentially a list of common (and many not-so-common) items in a home that people may not consider when trying to recall the valuables in their home. If a homeowner does not have visual evidence of what they lost in a fire, this tool is well worth the expense. It will pay for itself many times over.

If your home has a storm shelter, additional preparedness is prudent. First, register the shelter with your local municipality if they offer this option. If you are trapped under heavy debris, you are going to want out as soon as possible. Claustrophobia is no fun, and being stuck in a hole for a long time can affect anyone’s nerves. When rescue teams know you are trapped, they will make your home a priority.

Also, stock your shelter with items you will need: Flashlight, nonperishable foods, can opener, water, eating utensils, pillows, radio, and items to store waste. There are radios that work off a crank that powers an internal generator to create power, so no batteries are necessary. These are highly recommended. Odds are, by the time you need the radio the batteries will be drained or dead. Crank powered radios can be found at a very low price, and worth every penny.


Also, make a checklist of what you need to take into your shelter. If your laptops are not backed up on the cloud, you may want them in your shelter. Own precious metals or family heirlooms? You may want them in the shelter as well. If a tornado is heading your way, you will not want to take the time to consider your options. Have a list ready so thinking is not a time factor is a very good idea.

The team at Fire Restoration Leads hopes this article is helpful to all who read and share it. If there are any questions, feel free to contact the author, John Niewiecki, Fire Restoration expert, not just on the business development side of the industry, but also on the consumer side. John can be reached at (401) 490-JOHN (5646) and at

This page is part of the 'what to do if you are affected by fire, water, or smoke damage to your home or business?' FRL series.

John Niewiecki
(401) 490-JOHN (5646)

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