After severe weather, it’s time to clean up and move on… But when Mother Nature’s fury delivers a serious blow to your home, it can be challenging — and even dangerous — to take on the aftermath.
Here’s where to start:
1. Safety First. Today, personal protective equipment (PPE) is the talk of the town in the COVID era, but wearing a fabric face mask isn’t enough when preparing to clean up after flooding especially. The CDC has specific guidelines for cleanup gear recommended to protect against short-term injuries and long-term health repercussions that can present later in life as a result of exposure to certain elements now.
2. Stay Informed. Sometimes severe weather comes in waves, or unexpected changes in conditions can occur. The Texas Department of Insurance recommends listening for updates and instructions from officials for your safety when assessing and cleaning up storm damage.
3. Don’t Get Shocked. Guard against electrocution risk by inspecting standing water levels in relation to electrical outlets, breakers, and panels. Water coming into contact with live electrical current can lead to injury or death by electrocution.
4. Start at the Top. Gravity being constant, looking up can be a life-saver. Loose shingles, limbs, and other debris that can still come loose and fall on cleanup workers is one risk. Of course, a roof that is open to water presents an ongoing problem for home restoration. Both factors require attention to focus overhead at the start.
5. Consider Floodwater Contaminated. If any water is lingering during your cleanup, take precautions; it is likely to contain bacteria that can make you, your children, or your pets very sick. Likewise, as children’s toys are recovered, be careful to prevent small children from handling anything that was in floodwater without a thorough cleaning and inspection per CDC guidelines.
6. Don’t Take Unnecessary Chances. As the Red Cross disaster recovery guidelines simply states: “When in doubt, throw it out… Throw out all food, beverages, and medicines exposed to flood waters and mud.”
7. Know About Mold. Not all mold is the same, and not all health hazards are equal regarding mold. By learning the basics of how to stop mold growth and safely prevent it from spreading, a plethora of financial damage to property and medical injuries to your family, can be reduced or eliminated.
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