|Updated: 5/27 9:27 am
||Published: 5/27 9:25 am
In the aftermath of the tornado, those affected in Moore have begun picking up the pieces. In many cases literally picking up what’s left of their homes and businesses, but that’s only the beginning.
We’re finding out the process for filing with FEMA and making insurance claims can be a long and tedious one.
“About 30 seconds later all the noise was over, everything was done.”
We found Fred Galarza searching through debris where his liquor store stood just a week ago. He recalls the storm, as he huddled in the bathroom, coming and going in an instant. He described FEMA paperwork the same way.
“Thehe initial paper work didn’t take that long,” he says.
But now Galaraza waits, unsure of how long. And he’s not alone.
He tells FOX23 News, “It’s not really like clear and concise that it takes a day or two days, it’s really kind of confusing.”
“This is going to be a long, long process,” Jim Camoriano, a spokesman for State Farm says. “Like I said there are thousands of people affected.”
According to Camoriano, across the state of Oklahoma, more than 6,700 claims have been filed with State Farm alone in just the past seven days.
He says many families have already received checks for various amounts to get them started. But for some, a check for a few thousand dollars is a merely a drop in a seemingly bottomless bucket.
“We give them an advance so they have some money for basic necessities, then we start the construction process, and then we go from there.”
Camoriano says the Moore tornado brought back memories of Joplin, Missouri, where two years later he says families are still in the recovery process.
Galarza described the impatience and worry that comes along with waiting to move forward.
“This was my family’s only source of income actually,” Galarza says. “There’s a lot of stuff that needs to be cleaned up, it’s almost overwhelming.”
Another man FOX23 News spoke with says his insurance agent won’t be able to make it out until later this week, only further delaying him on the road to recovery.
Camoriano says there are things you can do at home to speed up the recovery process after devastation.
He suggests talking with your insurance agent. He says if you’ve remodeled or added on to your home or business, that may not be reflected in your current coverage, and wouldn’t be insured if disaster strikes.
Camoriano also recommends checking certain valuables like jewelry and firearms that could fall under a different insurance guideline.
“You may not live here in Moore, but having that conversation with your insurance agent to make sure you’re adequately covered,” Camoriano shares. “You have your structure that’s covered, you also have your contents and there are certain limits within that policy.”
He says one thing you can do today is walk around your home taking pictures in each room of what you have.
The Insurance Information Institute has a website, www.knowyourstuff.org where you can fill out inventory that would make filing claims after a disaster like a tornado much quicker.