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Rebuild and Recover from a Recent Disaster

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Depending on the type severity of the disaster, recovery is usually an incremental and extended process. Here are the initial response tasks:

  • Account for whereabouts of all residents

  • Secure the entrance and key facilities/common areas

  • Notify residents about access to their residence

  • Inspect damaged areas and develop priority lists for repairs

  • Create site map showing damage with photo and send to your insurance agent

  • Contact FEMA/local government official to determine what you must do before removing debris from site

  • Advise residents when to expect restoration of utility

WARNING: FEMA does NOT reimburse community associations that remove debris from private roads. We strongly encourage you to review the guideline for removing debris​. ​


Financial Loss and Insurance Claims Support 

Follow these insurance claim tips: 

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Temporary Residency 

It can seem impossible to pay for a temporary home and the mortgage loan payments on a destroyed residence, but do not be too quick to give up on your home. Contact your lender. You may be able to obtain relief—such as a temporary moratorium on payments (with the interest being added to the principal balance). Find out what your options are, since foreclosure will damage your credit rating.

Contractor Support

You need a contractor, and it is likely that many will contact you. After major disasters, contractors seem to be everywhere, soliciting repair contracts. However, you need to do your own research. Caution is essential.

  • Confirm the contractor's license with the appropriate state or local government agency.
  • Confirm that the contractor holds current insurance for liability, completed works and worker compensation.
  • Some contractors may try to win your business by promising you will not have to pay them the amount of your insurance deductible. That suggestion would be considered insurance fraud and should be rejected.
  • Will the contractor agree in advance to accept what your insurer will pay for repairs, plus your deductible amount? Rather than arguing with the insurer over the amount of the repair cost, a better approach may be to focus on the extent of repairs and hire a good contractor who will work within the insurer's cost guidelines.
  • Seek bids from several contractors, preferably from those who have been in business for more than a few years.
  • Get the entire contract in writing. Do not accept any unwritten guarantees or promises.

This information was extracted from a document developed by CAI Member Kelly G. Richardson, Esq., Richardson & Harman, LLP, Pasadena, CA.

Rebuilding and Recovery Resources 

Reference these sites to receive up-to-date information. We strongly encourage communities to use their municipalities' sites for local updates.