When fire occurs or other disasters, lives are suddenly turned around. Often people do not think about what they would do if their home caught on fire. A victim of a fire is completely unprepared and confused. Many do not know what to do first and whom to contact.THE FIRST 24 HOURS
Securing Yourself and the Site
Contact your local disaster relief service, such as the American Red Cross or the Salvation Army, to help with your immediate needs, such as:
- Temporary housing
- Other essential items
Contact your insurance agent/company.
- Do not enter the damaged site. Fires can rekindle from hidden, smoldering remains.
- Normally, the fire department will see that utilities (water, electricity and natural gas) are either safe to use or are disconnected before they leave the site. Do not attempt to turn on utilities yourself.
- Watch for structural damage caused by the fire. Roofs and floors may be damaged and subject to collapse.
- Food, beverages and medicine exposed to heat, smoke, soot and water should not be consumed.
- Contact your local police department to let them know the site will be unoccupied.
- In some cases it may be necessary to board up openings to discourage trespassers.
- Beginning immediately, save receipts for any money you spend. These receipts are important in showing the insurance company what money you have spent related to your fire loss and also for verifying losses claimed on your income taxes.
- Identification, such as driver's licenses and Social Security cards
- Insurance information
- Medication information
- Eyeglasses, hearing aids or other prosthetic devices
- Valuables, such as credit cards, bank books, cash and jewelry
- Insurance agent/company
- Mortgage company (also inform them of the fire)
- Family and friends
- Child's school
- Post office
- Delivery services
- Fire and police departments (for fire or police report)
- Utility companies
A professional fire and water damage restoration business may be your best choice for cleaning and restoring your personal belongings. The following items may require special treatment:
- Cooking utensils
- Rugs and carpets
- Leather and books
- Locks and hinges
- Walls, floors and furniture
- Wood furniture
- Electrical appliances**
Visit http://www.usfa.fema.gov/ to obtain a more comprehensive list of cleaning options.
Handle burned money as little as possible. Attempt to encase each bill or portion of a bill in plastic wrap for preservation. If half or more of a bill is still intact, you can take the remainder to your regional federal reserve bank for replacement. Ask your bank for the nearest one. Or you can mail the burned or torn money by "registered mail, return receipt requested" to
Department of the Treasury
Bureau of Engraving and Printing
Office of Currency Standards
P.O. Box 37048
Washington, DC 20013
Mutilated or melted coins
Mutilated or melted coins can be taken to your regional federal reserve bank or mailed by "registered mail, return receipt requested" to:
P.O. Box 400
Philadelphia, PA 19105
U.S. savings bonds
If your U.S. savings bonds have been destroyed or mutilated, you must obtain Department of Treasury Form PD F 1048 (I) from your bank or www.ustreas.gov and mail to:
Department of the Treasury
Bureau of the Public Debt
Savings Bonds Operations
P.O. Box 1328
Parkersburg, WV 26106-1328
Check with an accountant, tax consultant, or the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) about special benefits for people with limited finances after a fire loss.
FIREFIGHTING OPERATIONS Q&A
Q. Why are windows broken or holes cut in the roof?
A. As a fire burns, it moves upward then outward. Breaking the windows and/or cutting holes in the roof (called ventilation) slows the damaging outward movement, helps remove blinding smoke that obscures the actual fire and enables firefighters to fight the fire more efficiently. The result of this action is less damage to the structure in the long run.
Q. Why are holes cut in walls?
A. This is done so that the fire department is absolutely sure the fire is completely out and that there is no fire inside the walls or other hidden places.
Q. Is it possible to obtain a copy of the fire report?
A. You can obtain a copy of the fire report for a fire that takes place in the City of Woodstock. You can contact us at 770-926-2302 or we are located at 225 Arnold Mill Road.
Remember you may have a Woodstock address and still live in the county's fire jurisdiction. If you have a fire and live outside the city, contact the Cherokee County Fire & Rescue Services at 678-493-4000 or 150 Chattin Drive Canton, Ga. 30114 to obtain information on your fire report.
After someone is taken to the hospital:
In the event that someone has been taken to the hospital by ambulance you will need to follow all traffic laws and it is against the law to follow an emergency vehicle while they are traveling in an emergency mode. The follow is a list of the nearest hospitals to our city and the directions to them.
Northside Hospital – Cherokee - Interstate 575 North to Exit 20, left on Riverstone Parkway, right on Hospital Drive, left on Hospital Road.
Wellstar Kennestone Hospital - Interstate 575 South to Interstate 75, stay in the far right lane as you be exiting onto Canton Road Connector, The Canton Road Connector turns into Church Street, merge left, the hospital will be on your right, to get to the ER parking lot pass the Hospital and turn right on Hillside Avenue, go to the stop sign and turn another right, the ER parking will be on your left.
North Fulton Regional – From HWY 92: Towards Roswell, left on Mansell Road, left on HWY 9 (Alpharetta Hwy.), the hospital is the first right past Hembree Road.
From 140: Towards Roswell / Alpharetta, 140 turns into Arnold Mill Road at the Cherokee / Fulton County line, Arnold Mill Road turns into Houze Road, turn left on Hembree Road, turn left on HWY 9 (Alpharetta Hwy.) hospital is on the right.
Wellstar Cobb Hospital – Interstate 575 South to Interstate 75 South, exit onto Delk Road (Exit 261), turn right on Delk Road, cross over Cobb Parkway onto South Cobb Drive SE, turn right on Austell RD SE, the hospital will be on your right.
Northside Hospital – Atlanta - 575 South to 75 South, exit onto Interstate 285 East towards Greenville, exit onto Glenridge Dr. turn right at the end of ramp, first light turn right on Johnson Ferry Rd., hospital is on left.
Saint Joseph’s Hospital - Interstate 575 South to Interstate 75 South, Exit onto Interstate 285 East towards Greenville, exit right onto Glenridge Drive NE, turn left at the first red-light onto Johnson Ferry Road, turn left onto Peachtree Dunwoody Road, hospital is on right.
Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta (Scottish Rite) - Interstate 575 South to Interstate 75 South, exit onto Interstate 285 east towards Greenville, exit right onto Glenridge Drive NE, turn left at the first red-light onto Johnson Ferry Road, turn right on Meridian Marks Road, ER parking will be the first left.
Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta (Egleston) – Interstate 575 South to Interstate 75 South, exit onto Interstate 285 east towards Greenville, exit onto Interstate 85 South towards Atlanta, exit onto Clairmont Road and turn left, turn right onto North Decatur Road NE, turn right onto Clifton Road NE, the hospital is on the right.
Emory University Hospital - Interstate 575 South to Interstate 75 South, exit onto Interstate 285 east towards Greenville, exit onto Interstate 85 South towards Atlanta, exit onto Clairmont Road and turn left, turn right onto North Decatur Road NE, turn right onto Clifton Road NE, the hospital is on the left .
Grady Memorial Hospital – Interstate 575 South to Interstate 75 South towards downtown Atlanta, stay on 75 South and it will merge into the 75/85 Connector, exit at the Jesse Hill Jr. Dr. J. W. Dobbs Avenue exit (248 D), the hospital is straight ahead.
Atlanta Medical Center - Interstate 575 South to Interstate 75 South towards downtown Atlanta, stay on 75 South and it will merge into the 75/85 Connector, exit onto Interstate 20 East, exit onto Boulevard NE (59 A), turn left, the hospital is passed Freedom Pkwy on the left.