(KRON) – Damage claims are swamping insurance offices as they attempt to help residents affected by the recent storms. 

From ferocious winds uprooting trees and heavy downpours causing landslides, a string of recent storms has been costly for thousands of people.

“The important thing to do is to take pictures of the damage because you’re going to want to get your claim turned in and you’re going to need actual pictures of the damage that happened,” said Janet Ruiz, Insurance Information Institute.

Ruiz said if your car is damaged to also document with pictures for a claim. “That goes on your comprehensive part of your insurance. Most people have that,” said Ruiz.

Ruiz said keeping track of expenditures after a catastrophe is also critical and taking action before calamity strikes is the most important step. “Take a look at your policy. Did you add on recently? Did you add that to your insurance? Add that because you will need to have that if you need to rebuild,” said Ruiz.

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Early action can make a significant difference if disaster does strike. “It is really hard when you have gone through a loss to have to go back and think about what you have lost. It is a lot easier to do it now than when you are traumatized by a big loss,” said Ruiz.

Ruiz said this information will still be helpful even when the storms stop because fire season is just around the corner.