Getting burglarized can be a very difficult situation–everything gets so overwhelming. Your home has just been violated, and your most valuable and treasured items are gone. What’s missing? How much? Did they find your hidden jewelry? It’s hard not to feel inundated with shock, so how can you make things easier on yourself? First things first Make sure that the house is clear before entering– you don’t want to go in if the burglar is still inside, as they may be armed. Take refuge at a neighbor’s house or wait in the car if there’s even the slightest chance that the burglar is still inside. Report the crime Next, call 911 to report the burglary to the police. Even though it may seem pointless–the thief has come and gone, after all– it’s still an essential step. Police need to file an official report, which is a must-have for that insurance claim you’ll be needing to complete. Plus, they can possibly help you recover lost items. Although it might be tempting to put things back in order, make sure not to touch anything before the police arrive; they may need to dust for fingerprints. Make an insurance claim After the police have come and gone, it’s time to file an insurance claim. You’ll need to do a thorough sweep of your house to see what’s missing. While it may be fairly obvious that your laptop is gone, there is a chance that smaller items might have fallen through the proverbial cracks. You’ll need to compile a catalogue of all missing items and their values to send to your insurance provider. In addition, if anything on your property was damaged (such as a window, door, etc.), you’ll want to add that to your claim as well. Prevent a repeat After being burglarized, you’ll probably want to consider your security efforts. Why? Well, first of all, you know that your house is something of a target. Also, some burglars like to return–say they left behind your 60” flatscreen or brand new iMac; they might want to make a second trip to finish the job. It’s also important to remember that most burglars will target “easy” houses, therefore, you might want to change the way you do things: lock the door even if you’re gone for a short time; latch the windows when you leave the house. You may even want to take more extreme measures, such as replacing locks, getting reinforced screens and getting windows that firmly lock shut. In addition to being extra vigilant about locking doors and latching windows, you’ll want to invest in a security system. A security system will do everything for you– from alerting you about intruders to having security officials on call 24/7. That way, you won’t have to deal with a burglar alone–plus, they’ll ensure your house is safe, even while you’re on vacation. Whether your home has been invaded recently or not, it is still vital to protect your home, family and your belongings in any way that you can. Hopefully this guide will be able to help you through the difficulties of being burglarized. *** Marcela De Vivo is a writer for Soothing Walls, a mother and business owner in Southern California. With three children to care for, her home’s security is of utmost importance, so she takes the necessary precautions in order to keep them and her home safe from intruders. Follow her on Facebook and Twitter today!