TROPICAL STORM BERYL: Disaster Recovery & Links

Date: July 08, 2024

Disaster information and resources for small business owners affected by tropical storm Beryl.

Tropical Storm Beryl wreaked havoc along the Texas coast, with reports that more than 2 million homes and businesses are without power. Beryl made landfall near Matagorda as a Category 1 hurricane, before being downgraded to a Tropical Storm. The storm has brought heavy rains, strong winds, flash flooding, and tornadoes.

Texas Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick, who is Acting Governor, has issued a disaster declaration for 121 counties. CLICK HERE to view Acting Governor Patrick’s disaster declarations.

Below are useful disaster resources for small business owners affected by Tropical Storm Beryl.

Reporting Damage

If your home or business sustained damage from Beryl, you’re encouraged to submit a damage survey through the Individual State of Texas Assessment Tool (iSTAT).

*Note: Reporting damages through the TDEM is a voluntary activity and is not a substitute for reporting damage to your insurance agency. It does not guarantee disaster assistance.

Staying Up To Date

The Texas Department of Emergency Management will share helpful resources and information online. Follow their social media platforms for updates and notifications!

Navigating the Claims Process

Once the storm has passed and the flood waters have receded, you’ll want to call your insurance company and ask the following questions:

  • What types of damage are covered?
  • How long will it take to process my claim?
  • Will I need to obtain estimates for repairs?

Make temporary repairs.

While it’s OK to take steps to protect your property from further damage, you should hold off on making extensive permanent repairs until the claims adjuster (a person professionally trained to assess the damage) has visited your business and assessed the damages.  Make sure you save receipts for what you spend on repairs.

Prepare for the adjuster’s visits.

The more information you have about your damaged property ––descriptions of as many items as possible, approximate date of purchase and what it would cost to replace or repair them––the faster your claim can be settled.

  • To substantiate your loss, prepare an inventory of damaged or destroyed items and give a copy to the adjuster, along with copies of any receipts. Don’t throw out damaged items until the adjuster has visited. You should also consider photographing or videotaping the damage. If your property was destroyed, or you no longer have any records, work from memory.
  • Identify structural damage to your business and any supporting structures. Make a list of everything you want to show the adjuster, such as cracks in the walls and missing roof tiles. You should also get the electrical system checked. Most insurance companies pay for these inspections.
  • Get written bids from licensed contractors. The bids should include details of the materials to be used and prices on a line-by-line basis. This makes adjusting the claim faster and simpler.
  • Keep copies of the lists and other documents you submit to your insurance company. Also, keep copies of whatever paperwork your insurance company gives you and record the names and phone numbers of everyone to whom you speak.

After your claim has been settled and the repair work is underway.

Take the time to re-evaluate your insurance coverage. Was your business adequately insured? Did you have replacement cost coverage for all of your assets? Talk to your insurance agent about possible changes.

Related Content: Small Business News | Texas

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