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Great ideas and great feedback, but has anyone compiled a list of things to do when one loses everything? Like who to contact to disconnect all services. Federal, state and local agencies for help... red cross, etc. How to handle insurance, and so on. Does anyone know of a checklist? I would think FEMA or RedCross or a local Fire Station would have one. No luck
By Cyinda 07/06/2007
This Man is someone that TRULY needs our help... BUT, I wanted to let you know of a problem we are having on the Seattle area's Craig's List web site...
There are several people out there scamming others... One is a gal who posts says she is a single mother with "nothing" & needs a car seat, baby furniture & baby clothes, etc... THEN, she logs on under a different name & SELLS the items that were donated to her!... The Nerve!
There is another person that says her water is being shut off & needs donations, But, if you suggest paying DIRECTLY to her water company, she comes up with all kinds of reasons it won't work & she wants cash.
*** Please don't get me wrong. I believe the primary reason we are put on this earth is to help others. We need to be Giving, Helping, & Loving. BUT, why "throw pearls before swine"... Just use your brain along with your heart & check that things on the internet are indeed what they seem.
---> As far a the man who's house burned down, make sure he asks the Red Cross for help. They sometimes will set you up in a motel & help you with necessities until your homeowners insurance money comes through...
Here's several notes to others who have house fires & have homeowners insurance:
We once had a fire that destroyed 2 rooms in our home PLUS destroyed almost everything else with smoke damage. The house was un-liveable! When you have a small or med size fire with smoke & water damage, most people hire a company that specializes in cleaning up & hiring subcontractors to put in new Carpet & paint the walls etc... and also cleaners, to clean & prep the walls & cupboards etc for painting.
My advice: Keep a close eye on the people that come in to clean etc. They are getting paid a lot... & it's coming form a certain amount that the insurance says is to fix your house back up. If you can clean better & quicker than they do, then you can do it yourself & then use the money designated for them for something else, like maybe to upgrade your carpet or whatever... Also, with us, they came in & collected my Old, ugly curtains (wjen I wasn't watching) and I got them back several weeks later, all neat, pressed & dry-cleaned... But, I HATED them & didn't want them anymore, but, by that time, I had already paid for the cleaning! SHEESH! a total waste of money!
Also... Only give the company 1/3 tp 1/2 the money designated for them by the insurance company up front... & 1/3 later (when you know they are doing good work) & the job is nearly complete. Make sure to keep back at least 15% or more until the very end. & you are happy with the job & it's TOTALLY done!... The company I hired got paid in full a little to quickly & failed to put in new light switch plates & also didn't install handles on my cupboards.... Little things, to be sure, but, it's the principal... The job wasn't complete!
Just, keep your eyes on everything that's being done to fix your house up! This may be difficult if you are staying at a hotel, so try to fix up one room for you to stay in & a bathroom, or borrow or have the insurance company rent you a motorhome you park up-front (instead of staying in the motel room)... This way you will be close by & can keep your eye on things & make sure they are done right. Another example of my problems. The carpet installer they hired spoke only Spanish & when using the "stretcher bar" to install my carpet, he poked holes all over the master bedroom walls... These had to be patched, & repainted AGAIN! (the walls had JUST been painted)... Well, if I wasn't there, who knows if it would have been fixed right away...
One last thing: Our insurance company didn't pay for new furniture (they had changed the policy when my mom moved out) & the storage of the old, smoke-filled, would have cost a fortune!... So we had 3 huge, garage sales & sold EVERYTHING!... This way, we had to put only a few things into storage, which saved us a WHOLE lot of money! So, you'll have to weigh things out: Would it cost more to store your things, than it would to buy new furniture?
--->Take my advise, Read your insurance policy (or have your insurance provider explain the major points to you) BEFORE you have a fire!... This way, you can upgrade to a better policy if need be. And, believe me, we NEVER, EVER think we'll have a house fire.... But it DOES happen!
By Juanita Welgemoed (Guest Post)07/06/2007
My dear neighbours house just burned down 30 minutes ago. Ive already stacked a whole load of clothing for her and offered her a bed. unfortunately her cat and dog did not make it.
I just wanted to say thanks to all for their suggestions and comments, its really helped me with ideas to help her.
By Jamie Pinson12/11/2006
Hello, I was looking on the internet for this exact topic. Two days ago, my Ex-Step-Dad's house burned down and even though him and my mom are not married anymore, we've stayed close. We actually live right across the road from him. Anyway, he like the individual above is very caring and is always helping others. In fact, he helps others too much and goes without. He's so busy taking care of family members and such that he didn't have enough money for butane this year and was using electric heaters which may have been the cause of his house burning down. I was the first on the scene and didn't see him anywhere outside. I just knew he was dead. It was so surreal and horrible. I tried getting into the house but it was just too hot so I started yelling his name in the hopes that I could locate him and thank god he was outside hiding behind a tree. Ammunition was going off like crazy so I ran and hid behind the tree with him. I have never seen him so sad in my life when I hugged him and he said "My house is burning down" It broke my heart. We have had our differences but I do love the man and he would give anyone the shirt off of his back or his last ten dollars. He's a good man who deserves better. He does have insurance thank goodness but let's face it, it won't pay near as much as is needed.
Thanks for all the great ideas and info. I'm disabled and maybe there's some way for me to start up some kind of national fund via the internet to help people who are the victim of house fires. It's so hard on people, especially at Christmas. I'm just so happy that no one was hurt. His little dog woke him up and saved his life. Thank God for doggies. They truly are man's best friend. Thanks everyone. I'll look up some of the ideas you'll gave. I'd also like to find a way to give and to help others who have gone through this too.
Merry Christmas everyone. You'll be safe and take care.
By JoAnn 07/26/2005
maybe there could be some way you could do a benefit for him? Lots of places might donate raffle prizes. You could sell the tickets and food and drinks for money. I'm sure he's probably going to need some actual money besides the obvious other things
By Becki in Indiana (Guest Post)07/20/2005
Lots of fire departments have what they call a "burn out fund" that they use to help people in this type of situation, giving them vouchers to use at local stores, groceries, etc. I would also contact local radio and newspapers, and give them a list of what is needed (sizes, etc) and your phone number to call. My sister-in-law's house burned to the ground several years ago and I asked the local radio station to run a story -- they were already covering the fire itself, but I asked them to add info about items needed and my name & phone number to contact. People will open their hearts if they know about the situation!
By Knitter in Illinois (Guest Post)07/18/2005
Red Cross is one possibility. Also, does your area have an "Info and REferral" phone line agency. That would be a good place to call for referrals to any agency that could help.
By badwater 07/18/2005
Check with some of your local churches. They can help with used furniture, clothing, food.
By Beverly (Guest Post)07/18/2005
The Red Cross helps out in this kind of situation, Also United Way, churches in the area.
By Lucy Williams (Guest Post)07/18/2005
Check also with one of your local TV stations .. ours around here go public with the information, and you'd be amazed how many people chip in with both help and money.
By Mary (Guest Post)07/18/2005
Check with your fire department. The one in the town where I live accepts donations, like stuff you would normally give to Goodwill or Salvation Army. Then the goods are distributed to families that have lost their belongings in a fire and have no fire insurance. Where does your friend live?? Good luck!
By Maureen 07/18/2005
Check to see if you have a freecycle group in your area at www.freecycle.org and then post a request telling people about the fire and the kinds of things he needs (include sizes for clothes). When people have done this in our area they have gotten more than they could have ever used. Freecyclers are the best friends to have! ;-) Also, the Red Cross should be another place to go for help for this kind of issue. They are there to help people who lost things due to a disaster.
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