Cleaning up household waste after a storm
Cleaning up your house or building after it has been damaged by a storm is not as simple as it may seem, but there are safety precautions you can observe to ensure the job goes smoothly after the storm. Before you even begin the clean-up process, always remember to properly document any damage so it can be assessed by the adjuster. Here are a few tips to keep in mind when cleaning up after a storm:
- The type of storm will determine what is to be done to protect chemical spills and leaks. If you’re in low-lying areas, where the primary concern is flooding, take hazardous chemicals, such as paints, cleaners, and gasoline, and move them to the upper floors. If you’re inland, where the brunt of the storm will be high winds and wind-driven rains, then move the chemicals to lower levels.
- Take care to ensure all household chemicals are labeled and sorted properly. Mixing household chemicals and cleaners can produce potentially toxic vapors that can be very dangerous. Household materials, such as bleach and ammonia can mix to become phosgene gas, a colorless deadly gas. Other mixtures, such as gasoline and rubbing alcohol can create explosives.
- Make sure to dispose of all chemical and household waste properly. Dumping chemicals down the toilet or drains may contaminate the public water supply and could introduce toxic chemicals into marine ecosystems. To avoid potentially dangerous fumes, also make sure to carefully remove chemicals from other waste if you choose to burn debris after a storm. Try instead to dispose of such waste into garbage cans or bags, or use the centers or collection points sometimes made available by the government specifically to handle disposals after a major storm.
Before the storm hits, make sure to call our agency to make sure you have the proper coverage in place.