The Six-Step Process for Cleaning Up After a Storm

by: Alison Chan, Scrap-it! Intern

If you’ve never experienced a storm or hurricane before, you might be puzzled about what steps you need to take afterward. It’s hard to recover after a storm, physically and mentally. You may feel overwhelmed by the number of things you need to do in order to bring your life back to normal. To ease the frustration and stress, we’ve created a step by step process that will help you restore your home to its original state. Before you begin, check to see if your house is structurally sound and safe enough to enter. If it is, here’s how to get started on the cleaning process:

1. Wear protective gear

A storm can cause a number of bacteria and harmful material, such as broken pipes, to invade your house. It’s essential that you wear a long-sleeved shirt, long pants, waterproof boots, a face mask, and thick gloves. If you want to be extra careful, wear a hard hat and protective goggles as well. The idea is to cover and protect as much as your skin as possible to protect yourself as you go through the cleaning process.

2. Dispose of hazardous material

Search for any open containers of hazardous waste, chemicals, junk, and oils and safely dispose of them in accordance with federal guidelines. The Center for Disease Control has a database of information regarding various toxic materials that may come in handy when removing these chemicals and waste.

3. Dry the house

A side effect of storms or hurricanes is excessive moisture, which could lead to structural damage and mold growth. Get rid of any water by using a wet vac and industrial dryer.

4. Fix or dispose of broken glass

Storms are commonly accompanied by high winds that leave you with broken trees or telephone poles. This can result in broken windows leaving glass everywhere. If possible, repair any broken windows quickly to prevent intruders from entering your house. Additionally, dispose of the broken glass as effectively as possible (Remember: Do NOT touch the glass with bare hands).

5. Remove carpets and upholstered material

Floodwaters can cause germs to enter carpets, rugs, and upholstered chairs and sofas. Remove carpet and rugging to prevent any effects on your health. If your upholstery was affected as well, it may be best to think about getting rid of them to avoid any negative health consequences for you or your family later on.

6. Check electronics

When handling any electronic in your home, including coffee machines, hairdryers, or lamps, check to make sure that your house’s power is turned off. Even if there’s no visible damage, look at every nook and cranny to make sure that your electronics are safe for use.

If you’re feeling concerned and overwhelmed about removing debris and ruined material after a storm, know that there are professionals that can help. Let Scrap-it! be your calm after the storm.

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