Responding to Home Disaster Situations-Your R.E.S.P.O.N.S.E.


Sooner or later, many people are going to have a situation in which they find themselves in circumstances where they have to respond to a catastrophic event. We always hope that this kind of thing doesn’t require the services of a restoration and cleaning service, but if that happens, we’re here to help at 480-418-0015 (24-hour service).

In situations involving the home, for whatever reason, the best way to cope with an unusual situation is to have a plan. Your plan is your R.E.S.P.O.N.S.E.:

R-Rehoming. This includes provisions for an adequate temporary place for all the family members to live, fur babies included, if your home is deemed too hazardous. Sometimes insurance (either homeowner’s or rental) covers the cost of shelter. Other times, people go stay with a friend or relative, or obtain help from an outside agency.

E-Essential items list. Clean clothes, a toothbrush, and meals. All of the items your family needs immediately should go on this list, and it should be updated constantly during your RESPONSE time. If someone asks how they can help, you can consult the list to provide sugestions. Even if someone can simply provide your family with toiletries or blankets, this will help ease your burden. This goes hand-in-hand with the next item, the

S--Survival to-do plan. This is a list of things you need to do to keep your lives going each day. It will include arrangements get the kids to school each day, going to your own job, people you need to call, and other hands-on responsibilities.

P-Possessions. This is an inventory of your assets. Not just your car and bank account, but home furnishings such as your radial arm saw and that ugly sofa your mother-in-law gave you. Don't forget photos! This is another R.E.S.P.O.N.S.E. item which is easier to create before an emergency event.

O-Or, OH, NO! When a catastrophic event occurs, it can be unsettling. Lives may be lost or ruined. Property is damaged. Certainly your life changes dramatically and immediately. This is your permission to grieve, to feel sad for a time, and to get professional or spiritual help if the situation seems to be more than you’re able to handle on your own.

N-Neighbor. Not specifically a neighbor, although this is common, but this is an individual who can get your mail and newspaper (or remind you to stop the service), makes sure the lawn gets mowed, and to just generally keep an eye out for vandals or general problems at your residence while you’re away.

$ Money, or a Financial Plan. Living outside of your home is a situation that often requires careful fiscal management. Sometimes, there is rent or a motel bill. Often, there are increases in the cost of getting to school or work, or funds to use a laundromat. This is the rainy day for your rainy day fund.

E-Emergency Documents Folder. If you don’t have one, make one now, or you’ll need to recreate one if these items are lost. They include birth certificates, marriage certificates, Social Security cards, tax forms, bank accounts and insurance documents. One family I know keeps all of these items in one notebook. Another family keeps a copy of each of these documents in the Cloud.  It doesn’t matter how you do it, as long as you keep them someplace where you can get to them quickly or salvage them in the event of an emergency.

This is by no means a comprehensive list, but it’s a place to start when you have had a catastrophic event and need a constructive guide to begin putting your life back together. You will get through this turbulent time and be happy again, and your R.E.S.P.O.N.S.E. will help.