Disaster Clean Up: What You Should Do to Avoid Hazards

Did you know that the danger increases following a natural disaster?

Whether it’s a tornado, earthquake, or hurricane, recovery work should not put you at risk. In 2015, the US Labor Department cautioned the residents of North Carolina to be alert and be conscious of the threats during storm clean-up. Proper knowledge, protective gear and equipment, and safe work practices lessen dangers.

Tips in Cleaning Up After a Disaster

It’s always best to leave post-disaster efforts to the experts since they are trained with specialized equipment and experience. Luckily, there are actions you can perform to avoid further damage to your property.

Wear Proper Clothing and Equipment

Before even starting to clean up, it’s essential to use appropriate clothing and gear. You may deal with many hazards, including contaminated water, animals and insects, sagging ceiling, and splintered woods.

You must prepare the following, at a minimum:

  • Long sleeve shirts
  • Long pants
  • Sturdy boots or shoes, but not flip flops or tennis shoes
  • Gloves
  • Disposable masks
  • Hard hats
  • Eye protection

Prepare Basic Cleaning Materials

Depending on the damage in your home, here’s a shopping list necessary to help you start your clean up:

  • Detergent
  • Sponges
  • Bleach
  • Shop-vac or canister vacuum cleaners
  • Rubber gloves
  • Buckets
  • Mops and brooms
  • Carpet knife
  • Shovels and rakes
  • Durable trash bags

Evaluate the Safety in Your Home

After the weather has subsided, approach your house with extreme caution. Check the foundations for damage or cracks. If in doubt, reach out to a building inspector or disaster restoration professionals immediately. Moreover, make sure that there are no gas leakages, down wires, and damaged pipelines.

Keep Good Records

Document every damage to your house by taking pictures and video recordings for future claims from your insurance. Additionally, keep receipts of clean-up expenses, labor, materials, equipment rentals, and motel bills.


Before the clean-up, disinfect everything that has come into contact with floodwaters using safe and registered disinfectants. Consider the following procedures to speed up your clean up while practicing safety guidelines:

  • Turn off all power switches.
  • Unplug appliances.
  • Dry off flooded appliances.
  • Scrub your entire home, including your appliances and everything that was exposed to elements or floodwater.
  • Remove carpets and rugs and discard carpet padding. Before removing your carpet, scrub it with a soap solution since it’s difficult to clean it when it’s removed.
  • It’s more practical to take curtains and draperies to a dry cleaner for professional cleaning.
  • Let your basement dry and clean out debris. In case of floods, wait for the floodwater to recede before entering. If the issue is severe, call a water damage restoration near you immediately.
  • Open all your windows to allow drying and ventilation. You may use electric fans to speed up the drying process.

Seek Financial Help

In addition to your insurance provider, there are other sources of monetary assistance to help you with clean-up and recovery:

  • Voluntary organizations
  • Businesses
  • Government disaster programs

Keep in Mind

Determine, evaluate, and control risks systematically to remove or reduce risks. Leave demolition or repairs to the experts who have the experience and customized equipment. Beware of unlicensed repair work professionals and make sure to examine licenses and insurance coverage.

Most importantly, call references of any contractor you hire and ask about hidden charges. You can also visit their website for testimonials and reviews.