The roof is one of the sturdiest areas of your home. A good roof should last for decades with perhaps only minor repairs needed, as long as you are taking proper maintenance steps. But sometimes, disaster can strike. If your roof is severely damaged by a storm, you’re going to need a plan of action to help you and your family get through the situation until help can arrive. Here are some tips to keep in mind.

Don’t Worry About the Damage, Get to Safety

If your roof is significantly damaged by something like a fallen tree, do what you can to quickly assess the situation. If it appears that the roof has caved in at any point, get your family out of the house immediately. You will of course want to try and assess the damage, but it’s better to do that once the storm calms down. Also consider that going up on top of a roof with significant damage could be very dangerous, as the roof could be unstable. Focus on making sure your family is okay. Everything else should come later.

Contact a Contractor

As soon as everyone is safe and sound, call a roof repair company, such as Allen Roofing & Construction Inc. Some contractors may be able to respond quickly if it is a true emergency. If you can’t get a hold of a contractor right away, and you feel that your house is in danger of sustaining further significant damage, consider calling the police. The authorities may be able to provide some kind of support to help you, or they could even help you hunt down a roofing specialist if it is clear that the damage to your house could harm other homes in the area if it causes a full cave-in.

Document the Damage if Possible

While your first priority once you call the roofing contractor will be getting out of the way and letting him or her do their job, you should also consider taking photographs of the damage if you can do so safely without putting yourself in harm’s way. You will likely need to call your insurance company to see if they will help pay for the damage. It can be helpful to have photos on file to show the insurance auditor, especially if the damage is going to already be fixed by the contractor prior to the auditor viewing the house.

If you experience a major emergency with your roof, such as a massive leak or cave-in due to something like a tree falling onto your house, your first order of business is to stay calm and get your family to safety. Don’t go up on the roof and try to fix the problem yourself. Call a contractor or the police if the emergency is bad enough. If you have the opportunity to document the damage for insurance purposes, you should do so, but only if the situation is stable.