After the Fire

Dear Centre Region Resident,

The Regional Fire Protection Program staff and the members of the Alpha Fire Company sincerely regret your loss. If your physical needs for food, shelter, or security are not being met as a result of your fire loss, please contact us immediately by calling Centre County Communications at 1-800-479-0050 and asking for the Alpha Duty Chief. Your safety and well-being is of paramount importance to us.

The information appearing in this section was collected from sources such as the US Fire Administration and the American Red Cross. If you have specific questions that are not addressed here, please contact us. We will do our best to get you the answers you seek.

Immediate Actions: The First 24 Hours After The Fire


1. Provide for the safety and security of you and your family. Assistance is available for any of the following immediate needs:

a. Temporary housing

b. Food
c. Medicine
d. Clothing
e. Eyeglasses
f. Other Essential Items


2. Contact your insurance company.

3. If it is safe to do so try to locate the following items:

a. Personal Identification (Driver’s Licenses, Passports, Social Security Cards)
b. Insurance Information.
c. Medication Information.
d. Eyeglasses, Hearing Aids, Prosthetic Devices.
e. Easily Transported Valuables such as Credit Cards, Bank Books, Cash, Jewelry.
f. Cell Phones.
(Note: The fire department will assist you in locating these items if necessary.)

4. Take steps to protect yourself and your property.

a. Do not enter the damaged building until it has been determined that it is safe to do so.

b. Be watchful for structural damage such as weakened walls, roofs, flooring. Hazards such  as collapse and gaping holes are not uncommon in damaged buildings.
c. Do not turn on utilities yourself. Contact the appropriate utility company or contractor to reconnect gas, electric, or water service.
d. Do not consume food, beverages, or medicines that have been exposed to heat, smoke, soot, or water used for firefighting.
e. Contact your local police department to let them know the building will be unoccupied.
f. It may be desirable to board up openings to protect the building or its contents from weather or trespassers. (Note: your insurance company may dispatch personnel to perform this service. Alert the insurance company to pending weather conditions or security concerns. Consult your insurance company PRIOR to engaging the services of board-up services or repair contractors.)

5. Take steps to protect yourself financially.

a. Save all receipts for any money you spend. Many expenses may be reimbursable through your insurance company.

b. Some losses may be tax deductible.

6. Notify others of your situation and temporary location.

a. Insurance company. Claims processing may require your signature on various documents.

b. Mortgage Company. Your mortgage company may have a lien on the home. It is important to make them aware of the fire.
c. Employers. Their flexibility may aid your recovery.
d. Your child’s school and/or care provider. Fire is a traumatizing event. It is important for your child’s school or care provider to know that this event has occurred as it may affect the behavior of your child.
e. Utility Companies. If they have not secured or restored service they need to do so.
f. Delivery Services. If you are unable to collect your daily mail, routine package deliveries, or newspapers, you should suspend services to prevent theft or loss.

If You Are Not Insured
Your recovery may be dependent upon your own resources and help from friends, family, or the community at large. Please ask the fire company for assistance. They will put you in contact with agencies that can help you.