What can you and your clients expect with rescue and recovery efforts during natural disasters?
Some people are fortunate enough to have connections to companies that support disaster victims. When Hurricane Harvey hit Louisiana, Joy Russell, a friend of Coach Michael Hellicksons’, for example, was provided with monetary donations, supplies, and volunteers to help gut her home. However, help comes for only a couple of weeks, then you are left to fend for yourself. And some people, like Club Wealth Coach Brittiny Howard, weren’t fortunate enough to have that kind of support.
Download the checklist on this blog to learn how you can better prepare yourself and help others during the aftermath of a natural disaster.
For the most part, people aren’t anxious to buy homes in the wake of a disaster. They’re not really thinking about it. Even deals that are still in process tend to fall through because of the disaster and one should expect a shortage of inventory due to damaged homes, let alone neighborhoods.
Even if you have disaster insurance, be sure to gather tons of video and photographic evidence. In the case of Hurricane Harvey and the Louisiana flooding, water lines on walls in the home were essential in supporting insurance claims.
Another thing to expect and be aware of during disasters are the contractors from out of state who will be flooding the area in a show of support. However, it’s important to pick your contractors wisely and not rush into things; in many cases, they are there only to take advantage of victims.
They don’t care that you’ve lost everything, they’re only interested in taking your money.
So, what can others do to help? Send money, food, supplies, etc?
The best thing you can do to help someone is to knock someone’s door who has been affected and ask what they need help with. If you have clients who have been affected, all you have to do is call and ask if they need help. Cleaning supplies, toiletries, diapers, and baby formula are all things that are useful. Donate clothes that are needed and that are in good repair and seasonally appropriate. Volunteers are always needed, even if it’s just for a day or two. Every bit of effort helps during a natural disaster. Remember that people will be overwhelmed during situations like this, so try and stay calm and be supportive in whatever ways you can.
Temporary housing will be in huge demand. A way to help is to call agents with rental listings, asking the landlords if they’re willing to work with disaster victims and offer short-term leasing with a reduced security deposit. Rental prices will go sky high, so this would be a great way to help.
Storage rooms are useful for victims who need to completely rebuild. Call storage facilities to see if they will help victims. Contractors won’t demo homes if they’re full.
It’s essential to have a reserve of funds for times like this. It takes time for insurance claims to process, so a lot of things will be paid for out of pocket. For those who don’t have a rainy day fund set aside, call them and ask what they deem to be most useful. The most common thing you’ll hear on the news reports is that victims will need money and helping hands.
Always be careful when donating to charities like the Red Cross. Find someone specific and donate directly to them. Churches are usually great at local outreach to neighborhoods around the churches, and even with other churches of the same denomination. You can contact a church and ask them to send your donation to the specific relief efforts you are trying to help, and they will send 100% of it to them. A lot of charities don’t send the full donated amount because they are spending it on their own company. GoFundMe pages are also a good method of donations for victims in need.
Download the checklist for more information.
The most important thing, though, is to be active. Stay in motion. You will get inventory again. During the Louisiana flooding, flooded houses were sold and investors renovated them. Be prepared and know your comps in the neighborhoods; know what homes sold for. Don’t sit around and wait for things to come to you, good things will happen if you are working towards it.