If you’ve ever had to deal with the aftermath of a storm, then chances are that you know it’s not an easy task. You might need help from friends or family members to get your property back in order. However, before you can begin cleanup, there are some important mistakes to avoid. Let’s take a look at how to do this:
- Keep an eye out for downed power lines! If your entire neighborhood has been hit by a storm and there are any downed trees and debris, please check with your local energy facility to make sure it’s safe to go proceed prior to removing branches or foreign objects that may have fallen or blown onto your property.
- Avoid storing wet items near dry ones. If damp clothes and other materials are allowed near dry ones, they’ll become musty smelling and mold will set in more easily. Keep them separate!
- Don’t use bleach on surfaces that have been soaked by floodwater. Bleach won’t work when there is too much water present; instead, try using disinfectants or biocides.
- Clean up from outside areas first so that mud doesn’t get tracked into the house by animals or people who are trying to help with cleanup efforts.
- Prior to cleaning up, take photos or video footage of the inside and outside of your property in case you need to file an insurance claim after the storm passes.
The best way to avoid the biggest storm cleanup mistakes is by planning ahead. As soon as you know a big storm is coming, start preparing for its aftermath. That means having an emergency kit ready with cash, ATM card, food and water, contacting your insurance agency to see what coverage you have in case of damage from fallen trees or other objects, and making sure that everyone in your household knows where the plan B shelter or meeting place would be. It also includes keeping any outside items such as furniture off of porches or decks so they don’t blow away when winds pick up during the storm. With these preparations taken care of before a big storm hits, there will be less risk for disaster post-storm, too!
Further tips for BEFORE the storm:
- Make sure you have adequate supplies before any storm strikes, such as flashlights, batteries, bottled water, disposable gloves, and non-perishable foods, such as canned soups (don’t forget a can opener, or buy the easy-open cans), peanut butter, crackers — and make sure you keep a first aid kit stocked at all times.
- Keep a list of emergency contact numbers handy in case your cell phone dies or service is disrupted.
- Clean up the yard before the storm hits. Put away or reinforce any patio furniture, loose shutters and doors, or anything that may cause a hazard if dislodged by high winds.
- Know where to find your insurance and contact information. Put important documents such as passports, birth certificates, social security cards, etc., into waterproof containers, and keep it with you, if possible.
- Make a list of all the supplies you will need for cleanup – gloves, towels, garbage bags, etc.
- Put together an emergency kit with things like candles, matches, water bottles, snacks and toiletries in case power goes out for an extended period of time.
- Keep important documents in a safe place (in addition to keeping them on your computer).
- Don’t forget about pets! Bring them inside or make sure they have enough food and water for several days if you can’t bring them inside.
- Remember to wear sturdy shoes. You may be on your feet for hours.
- Turn off all electronics and appliances — as well as gas and electric service — ahead of time, if possible.
- Make sure you have at least two weeks’ worth of prescription medication on hand before a storm hits, if possible.
- Stay informed about any updates from local authorities so that you can plan accordingly. Make sure to keep up-to-date with weather alerts through apps like Hurricane Tracker
- Make sure you have enough gas in the tank before leaving town or driving into a flood zone.
If you’re looking to avoid the biggest storm cleanup mistakes, these tips will help. The first and most important tip is that you take care of your outside structure and any yard furniture before any rain or hail hits it. Check for loose shingles, damaged gutters, missing flashing on chimneys or skylights, or other signs of damage, and make sure they are addressed as soon as possible.
We hope our tips can help you to avoid some important mistakes that could make your situation worse. These tips may help minimize the damage done on your property or ensure everything is cleaned up quickly, efficiently and effectively so you can get back to normal as soon as possible. Some of them may seem like common sense, but it never hurts to review your safety plan one last time before major storms, tornados or hurricanes start making headlines.
With all the mess a major storm can bring, you might need to call in some reinforcements. But before you go ahead and contact a few friends or family members (who may be dealing with their own clean-up situation), consider our efficient, friendly, efficient team at Alliance Consulting & Contracting. We are proud of all that we accomplished as an organization, and thankful for every single person who has helped us along the way. Our hope is that these lessons will help keep you safe during the coming storm season, too!
Not sure how to get started? If you are looking for a company to help with the cleanup, Alliance Consulting & Contracting is here to assist you in any way possible! We’ve been helping people clean up after storms for more than 30 years, and have never let someone down! To get started, give us a call at (610)533-3689 or click here.
We hope you will have a safe and successful storm season. Remember to stay alert for the latest updates and be prepared!