How do I help someone who had a house fire? I know some of you have experienced it

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Posted 11/27/2010 by enjoytotheend in NSBR Board
 

enjoytotheend
Ancient Ancestor of Pea

PeaNut 359,333
January 2008
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Posted: 11/27/2010 4:46:46 PM
I never post on here anymore but I need help with this one. I have never had a house fire (for which I am very grateful) but my friend's sister had one last week and I want to help them. The information I have on them is that it is her sister and her sister's daughter. Daughter is a teen. Mom wears a size 6. They do have homeowners insurance but I am sure it will still be hard to replace everything. They live in Arizona (which is where I am at, I think they live in Glendale though). They are staying at a hotel right now. Today I am going to post it on my facebook but I thought before I did it would help to get other's ideas.

Here are my questions:

1. What did you need the most?
2. What do you wish others would have given you or even wouldn't have given you?
3. How long did it take you settle it with insurance?
4. Any other things I should know?

scrappymo!
PeaFixture

PeaNut 341,259
October 2007
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Posted: 11/27/2010 5:00:07 PM
I used to work in the insurance industry...If they have replacement cost insurance (which nearly everyone has, everything will be covered.
There is not anything you need to do...

Especially in light of the fact that you recently left this board with a hairflip about a few peas questioning your post about how you needed money for your surgery...etc

If you were desperate enough to need to post about exactly how much $ you needed, I don't think it would be wise for you to be spending on them right now. I am sure they have their own family and close friends who will help them.

Take care of yourself. With all you have been through in your lifetime, you need to just look after you and the healing you have ahead...
Maureen

Hoosier2
Pea of Many Trades

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Posted: 11/27/2010 5:02:13 PM
check with your sister about their insurance. we had a friend who couldn't receive anything until they were done figuring out what needed replaced and told him that if people could give him things, he didn't need insurance money.

we had a kitchen fire so we didn't lose the whole house....but we had to eat every meal out and it got really old...I would have loved some homemade meals or to be invited to eat at someone's house.

moveablefeast
do justice, love mercy

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Posted: 11/27/2010 5:06:58 PM
Gift cards are easy to deal with.

Some friends of ours recently had a fire and they said it was so helpful when people offered their homes during the day and for meals. The Red Cross took care of many of their immediate needs, but they liked having a comfortable place to hang out and work on claims stuff. They were staying in a Residence Inn type place, so having a calm place to do laundry in a real laundry room was helpful as well.

As for the other questions - they could be in a rental with new furniture in a month, but it might be a year before they are halfway back to normal. One friend who had a fire some years ago finally signed the last paperwork on her claim 4 years after the fire.

They said they were inundated with offers of clothes and things, but unless you're the same size it's hard to know where to start.

It's OK to call and say, "I don't know what you need, but I want to help you. Please let me help you." and if they say they are doing okay, then go to Target or Ikea or Crate & Barrel (or a restaurant in the area - they will eat out a lot for a while) and get a gift card, because even after they get their insurance money, it will still cost a lot to get back to where they were.

Sharna_G
AncestralPea

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Posted: 11/27/2010 5:07:26 PM

told him that if people could give him things, he didn't need insurance money.


WTH?!? The insurance company said this? I don't care how much people give to make a family comfortable after something tragic - I pay into my insurance so I can get what I pay for! It's not up to them to determine if my friends and family have 'helped me enough'! Outrageous.


~~Sharna
FLOOR CUPCAKES, 99% PEA APPROVED


"You think they're onto us?"
"Shhh... Let me call my attorney"






enjoytotheend
Ancient Ancestor of Pea

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Posted: 11/27/2010 5:08:22 PM
I don't have money but I do have a lot of household items. I wasn't going to give her money. But gee thanks for judging. I didn't know where else to ask this question. I wanted to help her just because I think it is the right thing to do. I think most of us have extra things in our houses whether it is towels, dishes, pots and pans, etc.

enjoytotheend
Ancient Ancestor of Pea

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Posted: 11/27/2010 5:09:55 PM
I'll have my friend check with her sister about her insurance policy. It's sad that some policies are like that.

haveitall
Ancient Ancestor of Pea

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Posted: 11/27/2010 5:11:40 PM
The day after my sons house fire the adjuster came out and gave him a check for @10,000.00. They also put him up in a hotel for a few weeks. They they rented out a house for him. He was able to get what he needed right away. First things were new clothes, personal hygiene stuff. He stayed with us the first night. The fire was Dec. 11 and he moved back in on Labor day this year. It is a long haul to get everything back to normal.

Sylvia in MN

enjoytotheend
Ancient Ancestor of Pea

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Posted: 11/27/2010 5:37:37 PM
Sylvia, I hope my friend's sister's insurance is like that! Do you remember which company they had?

**cindyupnorth**
Tony is MY hoochie!

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Posted: 11/27/2010 5:49:43 PM
I have been thru a housefire when I was a teen. Our entire home was lost. My family got alot of leftover stuff from other people, and honestly, it was kind of gross. That's what I thought as a teen. Getting leftovers or hand me downs from others, was just all the more depressing. If anything what we appreciated were gift cards to Target, walmart, home depot, to buy new stuff, and get supplies. We ended up with tons of stuff we couldn't use, and stuff that was just plain icky. Hopefully they will be able to get insurance money, and move in to somewhere and start out anew. The best gifts I got?? pictures. Pictures when I was a baby, and growing up. Becuz I didn't have any of those. So relatives made me copies of all the pictures they had, or gave me ones they had. THOSE were the best gifts.






JBeans
Toast gazing is an art I do not possess.

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Posted: 11/27/2010 6:16:13 PM
Our neighborhood had a house fire last year. The four houses behind mine went down into a pile of ash. The whole scene was chaos and all the families greatly appreciated the community pulling together for them. Insurance isn't always the fastest thing in the world and same with cashing a cheque as large as a previous poster mentioned. An amount like that can take a number of business days to clear.

Gift cards to Walmart or some place is always good. That way if they need the essentials like some extra clothes, underwear, socks, toiletries, food, etc. they can get them asap. I agree, a lot of used stuff would kinda skeeve me too.

A lot of businesses in town like our local grocery store had a BBQ and a donation drive for the four misplaced families.

We also have a local community partners association that offered the families councilling and posted things that the families needed and what not to donate. That was a big help.

I don't care about your position, but I do believe that no matter what position in life you are in, it is never a shameful thing to help someone in need. Regardless of prior circumstances, you are asking a simple question and asking nothing else so I am pretty disgusted at the second post in this thread. Wow, that was bitchy as hell.


Well Peas, I believe this thread has gone Thrusday.
"The Pot has not just met the Kettle, they are getting jiggy on the top of the stove." -Lanus

SabrinaJA
PeaNut

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Posted: 11/27/2010 6:28:12 PM
I've never had a house fire but we lost our home in a tornado back in June. We are still nowhere close to having our home rebuilt and are now living in a rental home. Hopefully they have Guaranteed Replacement Cost on their home and contents. If not, well then they will be in trouble. We have still not received money to replace the majority of our items but it will come eventually. If you are close enough I know what I would have appreciated most after this happened was a home cooked meal. Eating out for every meal, everyday, gets very old very fast.

Insurance should be giving them a living expenses cheque right away and they will be able to replace content items out of this as well. Make sure they know to keep every single receipt!


Sabrina L

Tutus and Chaos

haveitall
Ancient Ancestor of Pea

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December 2003
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Loc: Isanti, MN

Posted: 11/27/2010 7:10:10 PM
His insurance is Travlers. I was very impressed with them.

Sylvia in MN

candleangie
Sequin Sewer

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Posted: 11/27/2010 7:27:35 PM

they liked having a comfortable place to hang out and work on claims stuff. They were staying in a Residence Inn type place, so having a calm place to do laundry in a real laundry room was helpful as well.

As for the other questions - they could be in a rental with new furniture in a month, but it might be a year before they are halfway back to normal. One friend who had a fire some years ago finally signed the last paperwork on her claim 4 years after the fire.


This is SOO SOO true. It was a pain in the butt to have to pay to do laundry.

We're just over a year out from our fire, and we're not closed out on our claim yet...not even close.

We needed people to show up in sturdy shoes with work gloves and shovels and help us sift through our house. We had to go one shovel full at a time....flip it over, check through it....next shovel. It was a tedious, agonizing process and there were never enough hands nor enough boxes.

Hand me downs in good shape were really helpful for the kids. It takes time to build a wardrobe...so that was really really great. And a bunch of sweet Peas sent us gift cards that were SO appreciated. The insurance gives you enough to get by...but having some gift cards allowed for us to go get some board games and things to do for the kids, and to pick up the random little things that you don't think of until you need them.

Unopened toiletries and OTC medicines were a big help as well. First Aid stuff, cold medicine, ibuprofen, etc. DH and I both ended up pretty sick from stress and working in the cold / raining inside house. We didn't have anything on hand and our hotel room wasn't close to a pharmacy.



The blog, finally resurrected!





Mewcat
Ancient Ancestor of Pea

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Posted: 11/27/2010 9:28:12 PM
This is SOO SOO true. It was a pain in the butt to have to pay to do laundry.

We're just over a year out from our fire, and we're not closed out on our claim yet...not even close.

We needed people to show up in sturdy shoes with work gloves and shovels and help us sift through our house. We had to go one shovel full at a time....flip it over, check through it....next shovel. It was a tedious, agonizing process and there were never enough hands nor enough boxes.

Hand me downs in good shape were really helpful for the kids. It takes time to build a wardrobe...so that was really really great. And a bunch of sweet Peas sent us gift cards that were SO appreciated. The insurance gives you enough to get by...but having some gift cards allowed for us to go get some board games and things to do for the kids, and to pick up the random little things that you don't think of until you need them.

Unopened toiletries and OTC medicines were a big help as well. First Aid stuff, cold medicine, ibuprofen, etc. DH and I both ended up pretty sick from stress and working in the cold / raining inside house. We didn't have anything on hand and our hotel room wasn't close to a pharmacy.




What Angie, said. We had a flood and were able to grab quite a few items, but we still lost a great deal of our stuff. With winter coming on I was elated when I was given a scarf, hat, and gloves by some family members.
You could find out what she needs and what the policy says and go from there. Quarters are always nice because having to pay to do laundry is icky.. Thankfully we could go home and do laundry, but not everyone who gets stuck in a hotel has that luxury.


~*Melissa*~

enjoytotheend
Ancient Ancestor of Pea

PeaNut 359,333
January 2008
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Posted: 11/28/2010 2:58:03 PM
Thanks so much to those who shared your experiences and that of loved ones. I am really glad I checked on here first. It helps me know how best to organize help that will really be beneficial to their family. I will also tell my friend about the pictures. I bet that would make the BEST Christmas present to her sister and to her niece. I am sorry for all those who have lost their house. That would be a difficult trial to have.
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