First Steps After a Wildfire

If you, or someone you know has been affected by the recent fires, please read our First Steps After a Wildfire below.  We encourage you to visit our website throughout the recovery process.

This checklist will help keep you on track during this stressful time. We’re rooting for you…

  • Take care of your family’s immediate needs first.
  • Finding temporary housing is a priority. Your insurance company should help you find a place of similar size.
  • Start a recovery diary.  Any notebook will do. Take notes on who you talked to, the number you called, date and time, what was said.  Keep your paperwork organized.
  • Ask your insurance company for cash advances for:
  • Keep all receipts while you are displaced. Hotel bills, clothes, and pet boarding may be reimbursed but require receipts.
  • Take photos of your property before any cleanup or debris removal happens.
  • Avoid paying off your mortgage without a plan to rebuild or replace your home.  Visit to learn about your options.  Contact the Disaster Relief Network at 1-877-833-1746.
  • Do not rush into signing contracts. Get copies of ALL paperwork you do sign.
  • An insurance adjuster will eventually come and inspect your home.  If they make you a settlement offer on the spot, get a 2nd opinion on what you’re entitled to from an experienced construction professional and review your policy carefully before accepting the offer.
  • Inventorying your damaged and destroyed property is time-consuming and unpleasant.  UP offers tips and tools for getting this done.
  • Give your insurer a chance to do the right thing, but be prepared to stand up for your rights and get help if you’re not being treated fairly.
  • Register with a “Case Manager” – they can help make referrals to resources.
  • Register with FEMA (if a federally declared disaster) and the SBA (if a state disaster declaration), even if you don’t think you’ll qualify for individual assistance.
  • For more specifics and guidance on the insurance claim process, visit our website.