Assessment teams working through damaged neighborhoods
DONALDSONVILLE - As people cleanup from the tornadoes that tore through Louisiana Tuesday, damage assessment teams are walking neighborhoods gauging the damage.
There are some things homeowners should do to properly document what's happened.
The Governor's Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness recommends victims contact their insurance company and their parish, to insure their property is included in damage assessment. Depending on the level of damage, homeowners and business owners should take steps to make temporary fixes, such as using tarps and boarding up windows to secure their property. Also, check utilities to make sure they were not damaged.
Wednesday and Thursday, parish, state and federal representatives are walking neighborhoods performing inspections. Donaldsonville Mayor Leroy Sullivan says they're working hard to look over everything that was affected.
"We're doing everything we can to make sure we can get FEMA and everybody to give assistance," said Sullivan.
Multiple homes and businesses in Donaldsonville around St. Patrick Street were damaged by Wednesday's tornado. Entergy crews were busy Tuesday and Wednesday replacing power poles and restoring power to those in the dark.
"They're working diligently to get as much power back on as possible," he said.
For people who are now trying to figure out what they should do next, the Louisiana Department of Insurance has some suggestions on what you should consider doing.
- Contact your agent or insurance company promptly if you determine you need to file a claim.
- If you have lost your agent or insurance company’s contact information, the Louisiana Department of Insurance may be able to help you locate it. Contact the department at Call 1-800-259-5300 or visit www.ldi.la.gov.
- Take pictures of any damage and make temporary repairs to prevent further damage. For example, a hole in the roof should be covered by a tarp or other materials. Further damage will likely not be covered by your insurance policy. Keep the receipts for materials you buy, so you can be reimbursed.
- Do not make permanent repairs until your insurance company has inspected the damage.
- Storms are considered “Acts of God” or “ Acts of Nature.” An insurance company cannot cancel, refuse to renew or increase the amount of a premium on a homeowners policy based solely on an Act of God.
- If you believe your insurance company is not properly handling your claim, you can file a complaint with the Louisiana Department of Insurance.