What to do if your home has sustained severe weather damage

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Important Numbers

Report Outage

Atmos Energy
Gas Smell or Outage

Need Help locating
Insurance Documents?


Non-Emergency Police

24-hour Response Line
Report Concern Online

The City’s staff stands ready to assist our neighbors as we work to rebuild the homes and communities that have been destroyed or damaged.

  • Stay clear of fallen power lines or broken utility lines and report them to the utility company immediately:
    • ONCOR – Report a Power Failure or Downed Power Line  888-313-4747
    • Atmos Energy
      • Gas Outage   866-322-8667
      • Smell Gas / Act Fast – Leave the area immediately and from a safe distance call 911 and Atmos Energy  866-322-8667
  • Don’t enter damaged or unsafe buildings.
    Inquire if a post storm structural assessment of your home will be provided by your insurance company.

  • Tornado damage is generally covered under homeowner's and renter’s insurance policies.
    Contact your insurance agent or your company to start your claims process.

  • Texas Department of Insurance (TDI) can help you locate your agent or insurance company if your unable to locate your policy documents. Call TDI’s Consumer Help Line at
    800-252-3439 for assistance.

  • Take pictures of home damage.
    (entire building and personal contents).

  • Be careful during clean up.
    Wear a long sleeve shirt, long pants, thick sole shoes and work gloves. Watch for broken glass, nails and other sharp objects.

  • Obtain building permits to rebuild, repair or replace your structure.
    Contact Building Inspection at 972-744-4180 with all permitting questions.

As you begin to assess the damage to your home and property, we would like to help you make an informed decision regarding your contractor choice. Remember, building permits are required for all structural, electrical, plumbing and mechanical system repairs. Here are a few important guidelines to help you select a competent builder or remodeler:

  • Texas does not require general contractors to be licensed. However, in order to obtain building permits, all contractors must be registered with the City prior to performing any work. If you're considering awarding a project to a contractor, first verify that the contractor is registered by visiting the City's Registered Contractors List here. The information online is updated almost daily. If your contractor isn't listed but claims he/she is, you can call 972-744-4180 and speak to a Building Inspection staff member Monday through Friday from 8 a.m.-5 p.m.

  • Much of the work on a home is performed, designed and installed by state licensed/insured contractors. State licenses are required for electricians, HVAC contractors and plumbing contractors. Foundation and framing designs/modifications are typically prepared by state licensed engineers. Additionally, all work performed is inspected by the City of Richardson Building Inspection staff at foundation, rough-in/framing and final stages. "Third party" home energy raters ensure compliance with energy code.

  • Make sure the contractor has a permanent business location and a good reputation with a local bank and suppliers. Find out how long they have been in the building business. You want to know that your contractor will be around after construction is complete to fulfill any warranty obligations.

  • Ask for and verify references – Check with your local Better Business Bureau to learn if any complaints have been filed against your contractor.

  • Enter into a complete and clearly written contract with your contractor.
  • Obtain multiple estimates to compare pricing. Be cautious of unusually low-priced bids or a hard-sell tactics.
  • Do not pay for the entire job up front or pay in cash. In fact, state law prohibits contractors in disaster areas from taking up front money unless they have held a physical business address in the county or adjacent county for at least one year.
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