How to Handle Wildfire Aftermath

It was has become an unfortunate reality in our state, wildfires are once again sweeping California. Sonoma, San Diego, San Bernardino, Los Angeles, Santa Clara, and so many other areas of the state are engulfed in flames with homeowners, businesses, and residents fleeing for their lives.

In moments like this, it is important to understand how to handle wildfire aftermath. The first step is to make sure that you and your loved ones are safe and out of harm’s way. This means staying with friends or family or possibly going to a hotel for a period of time until the brave California firefighters have contained and quenched the flames.

However, at some point, it will be time to once again rebuild your life. The fire may have damaged or ruined your home, your possessions and more. Below is some information that may help homeowners, property owners, business owners, and residents impacted by the fire begin to rebuild their lives.

Social Security Card

If you need to replace your social security card should it be damaged in a fire, there is a wealth of information online to help you in the process. Here are some basic steps:

  1. Gather your documents—Learn what documents you may need to get an original, replacement, or corrected Social Security card, whether it is for a child or adult, U.S. citizen or noncitizen.
  2. Complete your application—Read the instructions for and fill out an application for a new, replacement, or corrected card.
  3. Mail your application—Print your application and find out where to take it in person or mail it.
  4. A new feature on the SSA website allows you to apply for a replacement Social Security card online via your Social Security account.

Driver’s License

When dealing with the aftermath of a wildfire, you may need to replace your driver’s license. This process is similar to replacing your social security card, and there are online resources available to you. The DMV website has step-by-step instructions on how to replace your driver’s license should it be destroyed while you were fleeing a California wildfire.

Homeowner’s Insurance

The homeowner’s claim process can be complicated to handle after a wildfire, but there may be state resources available to you should you need to rebuild your home. The California Department of Insurance has online resources that can help you find the best way to make claims and learn more information.

Know Your Rights

It is already being reported that Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) is acknowledging that their equipment may have started some of these fires. Whether your house was destroyed or damaged due to a preventable fire or if you have an insurance claim unjustly denied by your homeowner’s insurance company, you have rights and you should know them. Mary Alexander & Associates can provide information on how to deal with denied fire claims or deal with any cases against PG&E. One important fact to remember is that consumers will have to file a claim in bankruptcy court against PG&E; even though PG&E is in bankruptcy there will be money to pay losses for the fire victims.

Our firm has represented hundreds of people impacted by fires. Last year, NBC covered a lawsuit we filed on behalf of a family that filed a wrongful death fire claim. It is a tragedy when these fires ruin people’s lives, and we work tirelessly to help families, individuals, and businesses obtain the justice they deserve. For more information about how to handle wildfire aftermath, call our office today.