What To Do After a Burglary
As emotional as it is to be the victim of a crime, you need to keep your head on straight. Approach the situation with military style coolness. Assess the situation, make smart decisions. Dr. Gail Gross suggests squeezing the muscles in your body, breathing, and visualizing to bring focus to an emergency situation. She also suggests preparing through practice. “Being prepared, staying focused, and having a plan that has been internalized, automatically will lower stress and keep you calm in emergency situations.”
Though you are calm and ready to react if needed, your home is not a safe place immediately after a burglary. Your next step should be to leave your house immediately.
Call 911 after NOT before you leave the house. It may seem strange. Your first instinct might be to call for help immediately but it’s best to call once your personal safety is no longer at risk.
Your next step is to wait. Not only do you want to make sure you are safe before reentering your home but your home is now a crime scene. Give police their best shot by not disrupting evidence.
Unfortunately there is still work to be done after the police arrive. Once they arrive, it’s time to help them out. Fill out a property report, provide a list of stolen items, and plan to be available as needed to help the police throughout the process.
After a burglary you need to connect with your insurance agent. It’s possible that damage may be covered by your homeowner’s insurance.
We didn’t want Smart911 to have all the fun so we added two tips of our own. The first? Go defensive. You started on offense – thinking straight, leaving the scene and helping the police. But now it’s time to move to defense. After your home’s been the target of a burglary it’s likely that it will be a target again. Change the locks, reinforce you door with door armor, and add a home security system with video surveillance for added protection.
Our final piece of defensive advice? Talk about it. This is important for both grownups and kids. A burglary can take away a piece of your sense of security and that’s devastating. It is possible to rebuild but it’s a smoother process if you don’t bottle up your emotions. Find someone to support you and take steps to protect yourself. Empowerment can build back peace of mind.
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