Finances & Money

How to Get Back on Your Feet After a Fire

Losing your possessions and home to a fire is an overwhelming and traumatic experience. Fortunately, these days government agencies, disaster relief services and charitable organizations are available to offer you help in terms of a living space and acquisition of the necessities. While recovery may take some time, you are a survivor and you can get back on your feet by doing the following.

Get Help

Contact your local disaster relief services as well as charitable organizations to help with necessities such as clothing, toiletries and a place to stay. At the same time, reach out to coworkers, friends and family for help with furniture, clothes and emotional support. Ask for some time off from work or hand over a critical project to someone else in the office.

If possible, consider setting up a crowdfunding campaign for the financial support required to get you back on your feet after a fire. For instance, you can set up an online campaign using GoFundMe, which you promote via your social media accounts. Other places for fundraising include your local church or place of worship.

File a Claim with Insurer

One of the first steps to making a financial recovery is by filing a claim with your rental or homeowner’s insurance to replace possessions. Call the insurance agent and find out how you can document the damage caused by the fire. In addition, contact an attorney, such as one from, for further help on how to file your claim.

In the event you do not have insurance, you will need to rely on the support of the community around you. However, it may be harder to bounce back when you do not have insurance, but keep in mind that you are not alone. Your loved ones and community organizations will help you get back on your feet.

Stop Utility Services and Lease

If your home is currently uninhabitable, shut off your Internet, electricity, water, and other utilities as soon as you have a chance. Cutting down on such expenses will go a long way in saving money that you can use for security deposit, rent, clothes, new furniture, and food.

If renting, have a discussion with the property owner about the situation because he may have another unit you can move into. However, make sure that any agreements you arrive at are recorded in writing so you do not pay rent for two houses. While laws vary, you can easily get out of a lease if your current home is unlivable.

However, you may need to have an inspector or fire marshal come in and determine that the unit is unlivable, get a copy of the report and use the report to dismiss your case in the event the property owner takes you to court for the remainder of the lease. Plus, if you can prove that the property owner was aware of an issue that caused the fire, his or her insurance company is obligated to replace your possessions.

At the same time, ask for extensions from creditors and lenders. In fact, most credit card companies will offer you a grace period once you contact them immediately. An extension will ensure your finances will be back as they were, without hurting your credit score.


After the disaster, allow yourself to feel both the negative and positive emotions, but always try focusing on the good. After all, you are a survivor! If you have not lost your possessions or home to a fire, just reading the above will help you stay prepared, but most importantly make sure that you get insurance today.


About the author

Susan Paige

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