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When A Tornado Takes Your Roof: What To Do Next

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Summer is notorious for weird weather -- specifically tornadoes. Here is a phenomenon that requires really hot weather to suddenly mix with really cool air, and then the winds pick up speed and it is an instant cyclone. Most people in tight-knit suburban communities do not have to worry about tornadoes because the houses and buildings break up wind speed. It is only where houses are out in the open and spread out that people have to worry.

If your home is out in the open and a recent tornado took the top of your home right off, you might be in shock. If you are left standing and your family is fine, there is your silver lining. Once you recover, here is what you need to do next:

File a Homeowner's Claim

Homes covered by insurance are protected against tornadoes. That said, you'll want to file a claim right away. Wait for the claims adjuster to check out your missing roof. The claims adjuster may also be able to tell if your home has too much structural damage to restore the roof and live safely in the home again. If the house is otherwise sound (it can happen -- some tornadoes actually "hop" over roofs and take just the roofs with them), then you can start talking with roofing contractors.

Meet with Roofing Contractors

The next step is to meet with roofing contractors to discuss roof replacement. This is going to be a tricky job, since there is no roof or attic to speak of. However, the roofing contractor can recreate and restore the damaged walls to what they were before, and then restore the roof. Until the home is safe to live in again and the new roof is complete, you will need to stay with family/friends or stay in a hotel. If you are really fortunate, your insurance will cover your hotel expenses.

Move Everything out of the House That Is Salvageable 

Anything that did not get sucked into the vortex of the cyclone and is in good condition should be removed from the house. Place it all in a storage pod that you can rent for a month or so until the contractor's crew is finished working. This will keep the remainder of your possessions dry, clean, and free of accidental breakage from falling beams and the like during the restoration of your roof. When the roof is done, you can begin cleaning up and moving everything back inside.