Do these things immediately:

  1. Give the post office a forwarding address.
  2. Contact your mortgage company and bank (most of them are out of state and won't know which of their clients' houses are damaged).
  3. Keep receipts of any expenses (hotel, clothes, food, sundries, transportation).
  4. Brainstorm and write a household inventory loss list with everyone in your family.
  5. Most importantly: Get permission before you re-enter your house or visit the property from safety forces and the insurance adjuster. Take photographs. Don't sign anything quickly.


From Kovel's Dealing with Disaster special report.