Our homes are our sanctuaries. Unfortunately, break-ins do happen. A home invasion can leave you feeling scared and upset, but a few empowering measures will help you take back your space. Here’s what to do if someone breaks into your house.

1. Call the police

If you arrive to find your home has been burglarized, call the police immediately. Since you don’t know if a perpetrator is still inside, find a safe place to wait, like a neighbor’s house, until authorities arrive to take your report. If you experience a break-in while you are home, seek safety for yourself and your family and call 911 as soon as possible. When police arrive, provide them with as much information as you can.

2. Locate your pets

If a perpetrator has broken a window or left a door or gate open, your furry friend may have dashed out to hide. Make sure your best pal is secure, and find him or her a safe place to wait while police investigate. Be mindful of broken glass and any other hazards that could injure paws.

3. Call your insurance company

Let your insurance agent know about the break-in as soon as possible so the agent can advise you about documenting damage, tallying missing items and making claims.

4. Document everything

Take a minute to photograph each room. Also grab pen and paper and write down what you can remember about time frames, and note what’s missing or broken and anything else you can think of regarding the incident. Do this as soon as possible because your memory may cloud as time passes.

5. Call your bank

Were your credit or debit cards stolen, or have the thieves gotten into any of your personal information? If so, call your financial institutions to cancel or temporarily freeze accounts.

6. Secure your home

Wait for the OK from both the police and your insurance agent before cleaning up or fixing broken entryways. As you go about this process, review what security measures you have in place and if you need to make changes. Check out our favorite home security apps. If you suspect thieves have stolen spare keys, change your locks right away.

7. Inform your neighbors

Often thieves will target one neighborhood for a period of time. Alert the people on your block or in your apartment complex so they know to be on the lookout. They may also have seen something suspicious that could help police with the investigation. Post to neighborhood social media pages to cast a wider net.

8. Talk to someone

Experiencing anxiety after a break-in is a normal reaction. You might feel a sense of violation you just can’t shake. Talk to a professional or join a group with other people who’ve gone through a similar situation.

Your Farm Bureau agent is always available to help you navigate this difficult and scary time. If you’re worried about identity theft, ask your Farm Bureau agent about our credit monitoring and identity theft protections