When a home catches on fire, there can be devastating results. No matter the severity of the fire, there are significantly traumatic effects on those involved. Even after all the stress and displacement, the homeowner has a long list of things to do. Read ahead to learn what to do after a house fire.

Find a Place To Stay if Your Home Is Unfit

The fire department should determine whether you can return to your home. If your home is unfit for habitation, you need to secure a safe place to stay. Below are some options for temporary housing:

  • A family member’s house
  • A friend’s house
  • Local disaster relief services
  • Options through your insurance plan
  • A hotel

Contact Your Insurance Company

As soon as a fire breaks out and you get to safety, contact your insurance company. Your insurance agent should help you file a claim and address your immediate needs. Insurance companies can secure your property and even offer cleaning recommendations or services if that is part of your plan. It’s okay if you’re not sure how a fire investigation works—your insurance company should handle it and explain everything to you.

Get a Copy of the Fire Report

When the fire department completes their work at the house, they should provide you with a fire report. This report can be useful, as you can give it to your insurance company for documentation. It will also give you a clearer picture of what happened, as well as the safety status of your home.

There is a lot to do after a house fire. The most important thing to do is to get yourself, your family, and your pets to a safe location and work to rebuild mentally. There are resources out there for coping with the loss of a home or assets.

Denise Lockwood has an extensive background in traditional and non-traditional media. She has written for Patch.com, the Milwaukee Business Journal, Milwaukee Magazine and the Kenosha News.