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Hurricane Cleanup Safety Checklist

There’s a lot to take care of after a hurricane, and we’re no strangers to this in Louisiana. At Stan’s, we understand just how overwhelming the cleanup process can be, and have created a checklist to help you breeze through the process safely.

1. Safety first

Firstly, you’ll need to obtain the proper safety gear. This includes items like gloves, fire extinguishers, hard hats, goggles, earplugs, waterproof steel-toed boots, and N95 masks (the filtered nose/mouth mask that you see surgeons wear). Don’t forget to take breaks and drink lots of water. Pace yourself. Make sure you get help when lifting heavy objects, and don’t work alone. You should also rank your cleanup tasks in order of importance. Having a prioritized list will make it easier to avoid becoming overwhelmed.

2. Prevent mold

Preventing mold growth is another critical task that you will need to act quickly on–ideally, within 1 – 2 days after the storm ends. You should try to air out and dry your home as much as possible, using fans and opening all windows and doors. Anything that cannot be dried quickly like carpet, wall coverings, and mattresses, should be thrown away. During this process, you will also need to remove and dispose of your drywall and insulation if it has come in contact with any water. Anything else that has gotten wet but does not need to be thrown out (such as concrete, wood, and appliances) should be disinfected with hot water and detergent. Finally, fix any leaks as soon as possible. If you do start to notice any mold, scrub it away using a mixture of bleach and water.

3. Avoid contact with floodwater

Overflowing agricultural and industrial waste, along with sewage can contaminate floodwater with dangerous bacteria. Because of this, you should avoid eating or drinking anything that may have come in contact with the water. Keep an eye on any open wounds that you may have, and clean them thoroughly to avoid any infections.

4. Be wary entering damaged structures

Do not enter any buildings that have not been cleared by an inspector or government authority. If you hear any strange shifting noises or smell gas, leave the building immediately. Make sure pets and children do not enter these areas until after cleanup is finished.

5. Steer clear of electrical hazards

Turn off your power at the main breaker or fuse the service panel if any electrical equipment or circuits have come in contact with, or are near water. If the main power switch is surrounded by standing water, make sure you call an electrician to handle it. Never use any electrical appliances or tools, or flip any switches while standing in water. 

 At Stan’s, we make sure to follow each and every safety precaution when performing hurricane cleanup and recovery operations. It’s impossible to clean up everything on your own. Contact the professionals at Stan’s today for help!

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