The recent eruption of the Kilauea volcano has brought new attention to the possibility that Hawaii residents face of having a natural disaster destroy their home. While the islands provide gorgeous views, volatile weather or geological occurrences can leave significant damage to a residence.
Whether it’s a hurricane, tsunami or another type of natural disaster that has severely damaged your house, you may find that moving is better than trying to rebuild. While this is certainly a challenging time in your life, you can use these tips to make the process of moving a little easier on you and your family.
- Wait Until it is Safe to Return
Naturally, you will be eager to get back into your house so you can assess the damage. However, you must wait until officials have eliminated the major health and safety risks before you go inside.
If you experienced a large-scale disaster, such as flooding, wait for authorities to declare that your neighborhood and house are safe to return to. If a natural disaster has affected only your home, such as a fire caused by a lightning strike, ask the appropriate responder to let you know when you can enter.
Once you prepare to enter your house, be alert for potential safety hazards. For instance, you may need to clear debris away to eliminate the risk of injuries. You may also need to remove ash from the roof of your house to prevent a collapse.
- Gather the Appropriate Gear
If your house has damage to the point where you can no longer live there, your visits will primarily involve cleaning and sorting through your belongings. Be sure to arrive at your house prepared with the appropriate gear. For instance, an N-95 respirator mask is helpful for protecting you and others from ash that occurs during volcanic activity and house fires. You should also wear long-sleeved pants and shirts to protect yourself from scrapes.
- Identify Salvageable Items
In some instances, you might not have had enough time to remove your valuable items before the natural disaster struck. Now, you must slowly work through each room to identify the salvageable items.
Keep in mind that items affected by ash, smoke or water may need to be cleaned using special methods, but they may be salvageable even when you think they are beyond repair.
- Arrange for Storage During the Transition
If your current residence is uninhabitable, you probably are in emergency housing or with loved ones. For this reason, you may not have a place to keep your belongings until you find a new house.
Once you identify the items you want to keep, arrange for a storage unit to keep them safe until you are ready to move to your new residence. You can even keep portable units on-site at your damaged house while you work on your recovery project.
- Find Your New Neighborhood
Your preferences for a new neighborhood depend on many factors. You’ll also want to make sure you know the disaster risks for each area. Work with your Realtor to identify houses that fit within your budget and fall within the amount of acceptable risk so you’ll feel comfortable in your new neighborhood.
- Make Plans for Moving Day
A major residential move requires careful planning. Arrange for a licensed, professional mover that has the capability to transport your belongings safely to the new house.
At Island Movers, we understand that moving after a natural disaster is difficult. Give us a call today to find out how our services can make the transition a little easier.