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Who Should I Contact First During a Disaster?

West Coast Fire & Water is here to help in any type of disaster situation. Sometimes another party needs to be called first so the situation can be properly handled and assessed. Knowing who to contact first if you have a disaster in Lake County can help speed up the process, especially if you’re in more of a rural area.

Take a look at these scenarios to learn who you should contact first in case of a disaster.

Flood and Water Damage

If you have an active water damage situation, contact a plumber as soon as possible and if you’re able and the situation applies, turn off the water source to your home or business. If you are a tenant, be sure to contact your property manager or landlord first. Then, if applicable, contact your homeowners or commercial insurance company to get a claim started. Repairs will be less expensive if the water damage is assessed and handled quickly. The longer water damage sits, the more likely mold damage will occur, which requires more repairs.

Fire Damage 

Always call 911 if you have come into contact with a house or building fire. Everyone’s safety is the primary concern. Once the fire is out or being put out, call your insurance company. If you are a tenant, be sure to then contact your property manager or landlord. Storing important documents (birth certificates, deeds, special licenses, medical records, insurance documents and any other documents that are hard to replace) off site of your home or business or in a fireproof safe is highly recommended so they are easily accessible. Getting your insurance claim started immediately will get you access to resources for restoration and rebuilding, as well as funding for temporary housing and any other necessities.


Always call 911 immediately if you or others are in a dangerous biohazard situation. Biohazard situations that involve vandalism, bodily fluids (especially if a crime or death is involved), or drugs/paraphernalia may require contacting your local police department. When you have environmental concerns such as large chemical and oil spills, contact your local solid waste or chemical waste company. If the biohazard concerns a highly contagious virus or bacteria, contact your local public health department.

Mold Damage

If you think you have come into contact with mold, we recommend calling a mold inspection company. You may be thinking, “does West Coast Fire & Water perform mold inspections”?

We have received many calls over the years requesting a mold inspection. We understand there may be a concern in your home or business – recently discovered mold growth, a musty smell, perhaps you’d like to put your house on the market and want to make sure it’s up to code. However, since West Coast Fire & Water performs mold remediation and removal services, we cannot ethically come into your home and tell you whether you have mold. Performing a mold inspection is a conflict of interest for our company; we strive to be as transparent as possible and wish to avoid any potential dishonesty. We are happy to provide mold remediation services but always require a separate company to confirm mold so all parties understand work is actually needed on a property.

Once you have contacted the proper departments, authorities and resources to immediately remedy a disaster, contact West Coast Fire & Water. We are here to help 24/7 with water, fire, mold and biohazard cleanup needs!