After the Fire
If You Are NOT Insured
Private organizations that help with disaster relief include the American Red Cross and the Salvation Army. Your church or synagogue can put you in touch with your denomination’s helping group. Local civic organizations may be sources of aid.
Some state and local government have emergency aid programs. Check with your state or municipal emergency services office or the state department of social services for information on what help is available.
If You ARE Insured
Your insurance will be the most important single component in recovering from a fire loss. A homeowner’s tenant’s or condominium owner’s insurance policy is really a package of a number of coverages.
Inventorying The Damage
Most insured individuals are requested by their agent to make a pre-fire household inventory. Almost no one does. A pre-fire inventory, or even photographs taken before the fire, can help immeasurably in the claim estimating procedure.
Is It Possible to Obtain a Copy of the Fire Report?
In Sun City, a fire report is a public document and is available at the fire department's Fire Marshal's office.
Repairing / Replacing Damaged Items
Smoke odor and soot can sometimes be washed from clothing. The following formula will often work for clothing that can be bleached:
- 4-6 tbsp. Tri-Sodium Phosphate
- I cup Lysol or any household chlorine bleach I gallon warm water
Mix well, add clothes, and rinse with clear water. DRY WELL
Your pots, pans, flatware, etc. should be washed with soapy water, rinsed, and then polished with a fire-powdered cleaner. You can polish copper and brass with special polish, or salt sprinkled on a cloth saturated with vinegar.
Wash your canned goods in detergent and water. Do the same for food in jars, if labels come off, be sure you mark the contents on the can or jar with a grease pencil. Do not use canned goods when cans have bulged are dented or rusted.
If your home freezer has stopped running, you can still save the frozen food:
Keep the freezer closed. Your freezer has enough insulation to keep food frozen for at least one day.
Move your food to a neighbor’s freezer or a rented locker. Wrap the frozen food in newspapers and blankets, or use insulated boxes.
Do not re-freeze food that has thawed.
To remove odor from your refrigerator or freezer, wash the inside with a solution of baking soda and water, or use one cup of vinegar or household ammonia to one gallon of water. Some baking soda in an open container, or a piece of charcoal can be placed in the refrigerator or freezer to absorb odor.
Walls and Furniture
To remove soot and smoke from walls, furniture and floors, do the following:
- 4 to 6 tsp. Tri-Sodium Phosphate
- 1 cup Lysol or any chloride bleach
- 1 gallon warm water
Wear rubber gloves when cleaning. After washing article, rinse with clear warm water, and dry thoroughly.
Walls may be washed down while wet. Use a mild soap or detergent. Wash a small area at one time, working from the floor up. Then rinse the wall with clear water immediately. Ceiling should be washed last. Do not repaint until walls and ceilings are completely dry.
Handle burned money as little as possible. Attempt to encase each bill or portion of a bill in plastic wrap for preservation. If half or more or the bill is intact, you can take the remainder to your local Federal Reserve Bank for replacement. Ask your personal bank for the nearest one. Or you can mail the burned or torn money via First Class Registered Mail to:
U.S. Treasury Department
Main Treasury Building, Room 1123
Washington, DC 20220
Mutilated or melted coins can be taken to the Federal Reserve Bank, or mailed via First Class Registered Mail to:
U. S. Treasury Department
Bureau of Public Dept.
Division of Loans and Currency
537 South Clark Street
Chicago, IL 60605
Attn: Bond Consultant
Include names and addresses on bonds, approximate date or time period when purchased, denominations and approximate number of each.
Replacement of Documents
Here is a table of documents you will need to replace if they have been destroyed and who to contact for information on the replacement process.
|Item||Whom to Contact|
|Animal Registration papers||Society of registry|
|Auto registration title cards||Department of Motor Vehicles|
|Bank Books||Your bank, as soon as possible|
|Birth, Death, Marriage certificates, Divorce papers||State Bureau of Records in the state of birth, death, or marriage Circuit court where decree was issued|
|Citizenship papers||The Immigration and Naturalization Service|
|Credit cards||The issuing companies as soon as possible|
|Driver's license||Local motor vehicle department|
|Income tax records||The Internal Revenue Service Center you where filed or your accountant|
|Insurance policies||Your insurance agent|
|Medical records||Your doctor|
|Military discharge papers||Local Veterans Administration|
|Passports||Local Passport Office|
|Prepaid Burial contracts||Issuing company|
|Social Security or Medicare cards||Local Social Security Office|
|Stocks and bonds||Issuing company or your broker|
|Titles to deeds||Records department of city or county in which the property is located|