The following post includes information regarding damage control immediately following Hurricane Sandy. Erik Braunitzer is a writer for Douglas Elliman, brokers for NYC, Long Island and Hamptons Real Estate.

After Hurricane Sandy passed through the eastern coast of the United States, millions of people found themselves facing a terrible and devastating aftermath. From flooding to power outages, the people in these areas are suffering with difficult living situations. Even those who escaped from harm came home to destroyed houses and ruined possessions. Residents who didn’t lose their homes are still dealing with power outages and cold temperatures from winter storms. Many workers are unable to get to their jobs so that they can earn a paycheck to help their families. Although these citizens are coming together to help each other, the road ahead is still long and full of obstacles. If you were personally affected by this terrible disaster, you must prepare yourself for the recovery.

Coming Home
If your home survived the storm, and you were one of many east coasts resident who evacuated, you will need to exercise some caution upon your return. The foundation and structure of your home may have taken damage that you can not see easily. If your home feels different, contact help and try to locate a different place to stay until you can ensure your home is safe. However, if you feel your home is fine, you can proceed to deal with the issues that await you. If your power is still out, the food in your refrigerator will no longer be safe to eat, including condiments. Also, you may be unable to clean wet clothes and linens, which could make coming home difficult. Lastly use caution when you step outside. You may be in danger if there are still power lines on the ground.

Contact Loved Ones
Be sure to let your family members know that you are safe. Due to the power outages, you may have had difficulty charging your phone. In addition, you will not be able to use the Internet on your home computer. Aid organizations and your local government agencies can help you contact your loved ones. Also, ask your family members for specific help if you need it.

Getting Your Supplies
Many supplies, including gasoline, are in short supply after the storm. Ensure that your home is still equipped with useful emergency supplies, including batteries, flashlights, water containers and non-perishable foods. Try to replace any missing or old supplies in case of further power outages. You should also check on the status of your medications. If you’re short on your medications, get replacements as soon as possible.

Check on Neighbors
If you have neighbors who need extra help, offer your assistance to them. Check on them every day to make sure they’re comfortable and getting enough food. If you can’t provide the assistance your neighbor needs, get in touch with an aid agency for more help.

Insurance Tips
As soon as you can, contact your insurance company to find out how your current policy can help you recover from this storm. You can also take this time to update your policy with additional items you want to protect in the future. Go around your home with a camera to document your most important items. Make a list of these belongings to store in a safe place.

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