Knowing what to do after storm damage
If a tree falls on your house after a windstorm or other weather event, you should evacuate and if it’s safe try to prevent further damage to your home and property by hiring a professional to tarp and remove the tree off of the property. Make sure to take lots of photos or videos to document what happened. Call your insurance company to file a claim and request an advance and temporary housing if needed.
Use a portable radio for storm updates and have candles and flashlights handy. Stay inside and keep away from all windows and glass doors. Go to a safe area, such as basement stairs. Never go outside the protection of your home until there is confirmation that the storm has passed.
If power is lost, keep the refrigerator closed to keep cold air trapped and delay spoilage of perishable food. If you use a portable generator, follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Generators should be properly grounded to prevent electrical shock and should never be operated indoors, in garages, basements, or outdoors near any windows, doors, or vents. Because generators produce carbon monoxide (CO), make sure you have a working CO detector in your home.
After the storm has passed
If it is safe to go outdoors, you can start to assess your damage to your home and property. Avoid downed power lines. Never touch anything in contact with power lines, including water or water puddles that may be near the downed power lines.
You are required to protect your property from further damage and should arrange for temporary repairs such as boarding up broken windows, tree removal, tarp roof, and siding damage.
Look for any gas lines that may have been damaged or broken during the storm. If a gas leak is found, stay out of the property until the utility company says it is safe to return.
Be aware of other hazards that could have been produced by the storm, such as flooding, broken glass, or other objects, dangling tree limbs, or other structures that have been damaged by high winds or water.
Keep records of your expenses incurred and save receipts from your temporary repairs, food, hotel, medicine, and clothing. Try not to make permanent repairs until your insurance company has inspected the damages.
Separate and inventory damaged and undamaged personal property. The list should include a description of the item, name of the manufacturer, brand name, age and condition, and where it was purchased. If available include pre-loss photographs, videotapes, or personal property inventories you already had.
What Happens If My Neighbor’s Tree Falls in My Yard?
If a storm causes your neighbor’s tree to fall in your yard, your insurance may help cover the cost of removing the tree and repairing any damages suffered.
If your tree falls on your neighbor’s property you should have your neighbor contact their insurance company to determine coverage.
Most policies have limits of what is covered for tree debris removal and you should contact your local public adjuster to review your policy.
You can be held responsible for damage to your neighbor’s house or property if your tree falls due to your neglect. If you see signs of a distressed tree such as dead limbs, cracks in the trunk, leaning to one side, or rot you should contact your local arborist. If the tree belongs to your neighbor, you should put them on notice by sending them the arborist’s report by certified mail.
Insurance Claims Public Adjusters
Public Insurance Claims Adjusters are by law, experts who work exclusively for the policyholder and never for the insurance company. Following a disaster, Public Insurance Claims Adjusters prepare detailed scope and cost estimates many times using experts to prove the loss. Public Insurance Claims Adjusters also review and interpret the insurance policy to determine covered and uncovered items and to negotiate with the insurance company to a final and fair settlement.
We handle residential or commercial property damage claims in Pennsylvania from such disasters as tree damage, water damage, flooding, hail, and windstorms. We cover the current Pennsylvania counties: Erie County, Crawford County, Mercer County, Lawrence County, Butler County, Beaver County, Allegheny County, Washington County, Westmoreland County, Indiana County, Armstrong County, Greene County, Fayette County, Somerset County, Bedford County, Fulton County, Franklin County, Warren County, Forest County, Venango County, Clarion County, McKean County, Elk County, Jefferson County, Potter County, Cameron County, Clearfield County, Cambria County, Blair County, Huntingdon County, Centre County, Clinton County, Dauphin County, Perry County, Cumberland County, Adams County, Juniata County, Mifflin County, Tioga County, Lycoming County, Lancaster County
Here is a list of cities where our licensed damage insurance claims public adjusters maximized and expedited the insurance recovery process for business and homeowners after suffering residential or commercial property damage: Pittsburgh, Erie, Bethlehem, Lancaster, Harrisburg, Altoona, State College, Bethel Park, Williamsport, Monroeville, Plum, Easton, Lebanon, Hazleton, New Castle, Chambersburg, McKeesport, Pottstown, Johnstown, Hermitage, Indiana, Meadville, Aliquippa, Beaver Falls, and West Mifflin.
Public Adjuster Licensing in: PA #877366