Do's and Don'ts of Disaster Cleanup
Fires and Floods: Dos and Don’ts of Disaster Cleanup
There’s a lot of things you plan to do in the event of a flood, fire, or other disaster. Hopefully you’ll never have to do them.
But what do you do once the unthinkable happens? You probably already have an emergency plan in place for when a disaster is approaching, or even happening at that moment. But what about when it’s over? How on earth are you supposed to get back on your feet after a fire or flood has damaged or destroyed your home? Well, the good news is we can help you rebuild your world. Here are some tips on disaster cleanup from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, The American Red Cross, and Aer Industries, a company that deals with professional disaster restoration.
First, be safe.
If you must evacuate your home, don’t reenter it until a fire or other local official has given the OK. If your home was severely damaged, wait for a contractor to evaluate it and, if necessary, shore up damaged areas before you return.
“Water or fire damage in a building can cause more than surface-deep damage,” said the Aer Industries team, in an e-mail.
After a fire, the fire department should ensure utilities are safe to use or disconnected. Don’t reconnect utilities, FEMA recommended. Standing water and electricity is a bad combination, so make sure the power’s off before you enter a flooded area.