Whether it's a major catastrophe or a small one affecting just you, first assess your damage, then call you insurance company, says the Insurance Information Institute. Claims adjustors say that if you have created a home inventory your claim will be process more quickly, also be prepared to describe the damage to your property and how it occurred. You should also make temporary repairs such as putting plywood over broken windows or holes in the roof. Keep receipts because you will be reimbursed for these simple repairs. Be sure to use licensed contractors to repair the damage to your property and make sure they have obtained the necessary building permits to do the job.
For more information about insurance, go to the I.I.I. Web site at http://www.iii.org