For those whose Homes Sustained Water Damage
Starting to Clean your House
1. Take photos of the damage
Record the condition of the damaged areas
- Take photos of the inside and outside of your house so that the extent of the damage can be seen. Also take photos of anything broken, like your car, refrigerator or electronics. Take photos of marks that show the depth that the water reached during flooding. The records you keep of the damage will be useful later when getting a victim’s certificate or applying for an insurance payout.
※ Victim’s Certificate
- You will fill out forms reporting that your house is damaged and submit them to city hall. Someone from city hall will survey the damage based on the forms. If you have a victim’s certificate, you can get benefits, loans, exemptions from taxes or utility charges, and temporary housing depending on the extent of the damage, to help put your life back in order. Your residence card can also be reissued if necessary. Issuing a victim’s certificate can sometimes take a few weeks, or even longer than a month, so please check with your city hall about the procedure. Warning: If you do not apply, you will not be issued a victim’s certificate. Please go to city hall.
2. Before You Tidy Up
- Because there may be an electrical fault, please check your circuit breaker. If a breaker has tripped or been turned off, there may be a risk of shock, so please contact your electric company.
- If you can smell gas in your home, please contact your gas company. If you use city gas, it will turn off automatically after a natural disaster. To restore the gas, you must press the recovery button on your gas meter. Please confirm with you gas company whether or not you can use city gas again. If you use propane gas, and your gas canister has moved from its usual position, there probably be a gas leak, so please contact your gas company.
Contacting Your Insurance Company
- If you have home insurance or are part of a mutual aid, you should report the flood damage to your insurance company. This is so that you can receive compensation for repairs. If you live in an apartment, contact your landlord. Before you repair your house, please be sure to take photos of the damage, and to contact your insurance company, landlord, and/or the construction company that built your house.
3. When You Tidy Up
Be careful not to get hurt
- Wear tall rubber boots and work gloves. There could be dust or mold in the air, so also be sure to wear a mask. Rinse out your mouth and wash your hands, and be sure to drink plenty of water.
Be aware of that garbage disposal rules are different than usual
- Naturally, there will be lots of garbage like cars, refrigerators, and home appliances, so garbage will not be collected at the usual drop-off places. Check where and when garbage collections will be with your city hall or neighbors.
Disaster volunteers will help you
- There are many volunteers registered with the “Disaster Volunteer Center.” You do not have to clear up with just your family. Volunteers can also come and help out. Please consult with the Disaster Volunteer Center, Social Welfare Council, or city hall. They will be able to help you free of charge.
- Beware of thieves and scams Misinformation may be spread over social networking. If you think something seems strange, be sure to consult with someone. ・If you lose your residence card or passport: Please contact your embassy or immigration office.