Steps to Rebuilding Your Life After a Home Fire

The single biggest investment any individual or family makes is their home. Our homes are our safe havens from the dangers of the world around us, but what do we do when our home becomes a victim to a natural disaster? What do you do after say, a fire ravages your home? In this article I intend to outline the proper steps that you should carry out if you ever experience a tragedy such as a fire.

Connect With Help

House fires are notorious for robbing people of any tranquility they once possessed. Luckily, even if you’re down and out, multiple organizations exist with the intention of helping families rebuild their lives after such an experience. By connecting with these organizations you will reduce the amount of work necessary to rebuild your life. Organizations such as the Red Cross, Salvation Army, and many other charitable nonprofits can assist with temporary shelter, clothing, sustenance, and bedding just to name a few. After connecting with these services you must begin to also contact work, insurance, family, and friends. Sometimes the best support networks are the friends and family that have been with you your entire life.

Document Scramble

This is one of the most aggravating and annoying aspects of a house fire, losing every one of your critical documents. It’s already difficult enough just trying to get a driver’s license without a birth certificate, can you imagine trying to recover all of your documents when you have nothing but your ID card? I don’t want to write about too many preventative measures in an article that’s meant to guide and instruct those who just lost everything but I would be remiss to not remind my readers that buying a fire proof safe or lock box is a must. For those without that precaution it’s imperative that you search the premises of your old abode for any sign of your documentation. Remember that major government institutions will assist you with replacing these papers, but don’t expect it to be a painless experience. Most of the time it will be a hair pulling and frustrating ordeal that will require a stiff drink afterwards. So think about buying that fire proof safe for the next time.


For those of us with home owners insurance it’s a pretty common next step to contact our insurance providers post such an event. What we all need to know before placing these calls is what the insurance company will push back against. These companies, while designed to help us when we need, often will try to cut corners in order to lower the amount they are required to pay out. First of all it’s important to make an inventory of all of your damaged items. Do this without throwing anything away as you will want to have these items ready to be presented to the insurance provider. It’s also important to catalog any family heirlooms. Many times you will see that your provider and you are at a disagreement about what constitutes a priceless family treasure as opposed to some useless junk. Once you finish cataloging all of your destroyed items as well as family treasures you must begin starting a new record. You need to be keeping every single receipt you have that is related to home damage or fire damage. These receipts need to be shared with your insurance so that you won’t end up absorbing more cost than need be.


Any family that has dealt with a natural disaster like a home fire knows how devastating it can be. Nothing anyone can say will make the experience any easier but knowing the proper steps to take can reduce the amount of time you spend feeling distraught and out of luck. Remembering to communicate with the Red Cross and Salvation Army is one of the most important steps. Once you get put into temporary housing and receive needed food, water, bedding, and medical supplies then you can begin to tackle the remaining insurance issue. Dealing with your insurance will probably be almost as heart wrenching as watching your home burn in flames. Remember to stand your ground and double check any policy they throw in your face. These guys are trained to save themselves money after all.

This article was written by Eduardo Dieguez, a proud volunteer firefighter who all too often sees the tragedy that strikes families after a home fire. He uses his experience to create content for

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