Even when you put forth the best effort to protect yourself from burglary, criminals can still find a way in. When homeowners find themselves in this unfortunate circumstance they find it difficult to shake the feelings of frustration and violation that come after a home invasion.
Photo by Nixelz on Deviantart
These feelings are hard to handle, and the shock that families experience after being robbed can be paralyzing. But despite these feelings, there are a core set of actions that must be taken after an invasion to guarantee a safe and speedy recovery.
If you find yourself in the midst of a home invasion scenario, follow these steps immediately after you’ve discovered that your home has been compromised.
Check on Family First
Before you do anything else, confirm that each of your family members is safe and unharmed. Attempt to contact each family member via cell phone or other means before entering the house. If you must enter the house to search for a family member, proceed with caution. Once each family member is accounted for, vacate the house immediately and go to the residence of a friend or neighbor.
Take Photos and Contact Law Enforcement
Once you are sure that your family is safe, contact your local law enforcement agency immediately. The sooner law enforcement arrives on the scene, the more likely it is that the perpetrator will be caught and apprehended.
Photo by Adam Lerner
Wait until law enforcement arrives to enter the house. Once they arrive and give you permission to go inside, take several pictures of each room and do your best not to disturb the crime scene. This will help to preserve incriminating evidence and document stolen items.
File Insurance Claims as Soon as Possible
The moment after you receive a police report from your local law enforcement team, you should contact your insurance company to file a claim. It is very important to contact the police first and your insurance company second. This is because the insurance representative will need all of the information provided in the police report. Calling before you have this information will complicate your claim.
Inspect and Update Your Security
Photo by Henning Muhlinghaus
After handling the initial crisis following the invasion, do an audit of your home security and update where necessary. Making sure your home is secure after an invasion is hugely important for preventing future burglaries and giving you peace of mind.
Begin Material and Emotional Recovery
The last step of recovering from a home invasion is by far the hardest – cleanup and emotional recovery. The most important thing to remember as you pick up the pieces after a robbery is not to suppress your emotions. Having your home ransacked, the place where you take refuge from the outside world, your safe haven, is very emotionally taxing. Nobody expects you to be a hero about it. Take the time you need from your day-to-day responsibilities to process the experience, and don’t rush the recovery process.
As you repair your life after an invasion, be thankful for what you didn’t lose. Your safety and the safety of your family should be your top priority, and going through this tragedy without your family being hurt or injured is a huge reason to be thankful.