Insurance officials advise explosion victims

DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – Several families are still unable to return home following an explosion that rocked a Dayton neighborhood Monday morning on the 500 block of Brooklyn Avenue.

At least 49 homes have been damaged in the explosion and officials expect that number to rise as more nearby families assess their property.

For some people, who’ve been displaced or who’ve been looking for advice, one local agency has been answering their questions.

The Dayton Area Chapter Red Cross  has been right alongside special investigators and other officials on the scene, as they investigate the explosion.

“When we hear about an explosion, hearing is one thing, seeing is another, so to see the debris of all the houses or several houses that were damaged was quite alarming,” said Red Cross Volunteer Larry Hayden, who was one of the first organizers on the scene with water and food for first responders and victims.

Since the blast, the organization has been linking victims to the proper agencies and getting them the shelter and food they need.

As trained disaster relief officials, Hayden said the team is ready, but often times victims are simply overwhelmed.

“A lot of people do not prepare for a disaster. We unfortunately– we think it will never happen to us, so once you sit with the family and they’re already in shock, they’re wondering what they’re going to do, where they’re gonna get furniture, where they’re gonna get clothes, where they’re gonna get food,” explained the longtime Red Cross volunteer.

But once the Red Cross addresses those issues, they recommend homeowners contact their insurance agencies.

2 NEWS did some research and learned three key steps to recovery after a disaster:

  •     Have an official inspection performed by an adjuster or attorney.
  •     Make temporary repairs to prevent further damage and keep those receipts for your claims.
  •    Create a list of lost or damaged personal property.

Meanwhile,  insurance officials are also warning homeowners of some classic signs of insurance claim scams.

2 NEWS spoke with Senior Vice President of Public Information Mary Bonelli with the  Ohio Insurance Institute and she, like many others, is urging victims to be patient and careful.

“Never ever give any type of an advance–  some type of an advance deposit on the repairs because the fact that– in many cases you’re gonna find that roofer taking the money or contractor taking the money and run,” said Bonelli.

Authorities are also advising that you check the track record of your contractor or roofer and verify that the company is licensed and bonded.

In the meantime, if you’re looking for more information on the right agency to help you,  you can get a head start with the Red Cross by calling 937- 222-6711.

Additionally, Thursday,  four agents with the Ohio Department of Insurance will be at the West Dayton neighborhood  to help neighbors begin to file their claims.

 

 

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