One of the biggest disasters to hit the state of Texas is Hurricane Harvey. It initially made landfall as a Category 4 storm with winds of up to 130 MPH and was also the first hurricane to hit the state in nearly ten years. Furthermore, it was also the strongest hurricane to hit Texas ever since 1961’s Hurricane Carla.

Many parts of Houston are certainly no strangers to flooding; however, there are also some that certainly aren’t used to dealing with a storm this strong. With homeowners dealing with all sorts of damage thanks to this devastation, here are some of the most important reminders to make note of.

*Determine if the structure of your home has remained intact. Look for faults such as cracks in your foundation, walls that aren’t as vertical as previously, and a sagging roof. If you think that your home’s structural integrity may be compromised in any way, do not go inside for any reason.

*If your home suffered only minor damages and you feel safe going inside, begin immediately cleaning. Waiting for an adjuster could take some time, as it can take them a while to respond to everyone.

*Take photos and videos of everything that you can and from multiple angles. Keep copies of everything in a safe place, such as a waterproof binder. Also consider making digital copies onto a flash drive.

*Keep all damaged materials if you can, as the adjuster can review these. Take them out of your home and sort them the best that you can, typically by room.

*Keep in mind that flood insurance from FEMA does not cover additional living expenses, such as living somewhere else due to losing your home to flooding.

*If you car has flooded, document this for your auto insurance company.

*Flooding is not covered through renters insurance, condo insurance, or homeowners insurance.

*Keep all receipts for materials that you purchase to fix and repair everything.

*When cleaning, wear protective clothing and remain cautious at all times.

*Check your yard carefully for debris.

*If you own pets, ensure that their area is completely clean and free of debris before placing them in it. Furthermore, do not tie up your dog unless you know that the area is free of flash flooding.

*Use flashlights in any dark areas instead of candles, as there is always the risk of gas leaks or other flammable materials throughout a flooded home.

*If power has been restored, never turn on all of your major appliances at the same time. Instead, do so gradually.

*Board up any broken windows and cover your roof if it has been damaged. This will prevent any further damage from occurring.

*Contact a local storage facility and immediately reserve a space. This will enable you to store items while your home is being repaired.

*Watch for mold and have any that you find removed immediately.

For more tips on how to clean your home after a natural disaster, click here.

To read one Houston neighborhoods cleanup story, click here.