Homeowners: What to do after a fire?
The information and links below can be used by individual homeowners to aid in recovery after a wildfire.
Securing yourself and your family
- Follow these guidelines from the U.S. Fire Administration / Federal Emergency Management Agency on what to do during the first 24 hours after a fire:
- Contact your local relief service such as the American Red Cross (search by zip code to find your local chapter here) or the Salvation Army (search by zip code to find your local chapter here) to help with housing, food, and other essentials.
- Contact your insurance company/agent for details on how to proceed. If you are not insured, try contacting private aid organizations such as the American Red Cross, the Salvation Army, religious organizations, and civic organizations.
- An extensive list of resources for dealing with the emotional toll of a wildfire can be found on the Arizona Fire Alliance website.
Re-entering the home/site
- Check with the fire department to ensure that it is safe to re-enter and ask about the status of your utilities (if they are down, do NOT attempt to reconnect yourself). Fire status and current evacuation orders in place can be found by going to the National Interagency Fire Center Fire Information page.
- Conduct an inventory - do not throw anything away until after the inventory is made. A guide to valuing your property and a guide to salvaging specifc items can be found here.
- Locate valuable documents and records if you were unable to gather them before leaving. A guide to replacing lost documents can be found here.
- Save all receipts for any money spent related to fire losses - they may be needed by your insurance company.
- Notify your mortgage company of the fire.
- Check with the IRS about tax-related benefits for fire recovery.
Revegetating the site
- There are many guides for assessing fire damagetovegetationandrevegetating available on the web. Some that we recommend include:
- The National Resource Conservation Association also offers technical assistance for replanting and erosion control.