Disaster Aftermath: Safe Home Clean Up Checklist

Were you aware that the risk increases in the aftermath of a natural disaster?

Whether it’s an earthquake, tornado, or hurricane, recovery work must not put you at risk. In 2015, the US Labor Department warned North Carolina citizens to be vigilant and be mindful of the dangers during storm clean-up. However, these might be reduced with knowledge, protective equipment, and safe work practices.

Practical Guidelines in Cleaning Up After a Disaster

It’s always advisable to leave post-disaster efforts to the experts because they are trained with specialized equipment and years of experience. Luckily, there are actions you can perform to avoid further damage to your property.

Wear Appropriate Clothing and Gear

Before even starting to clean up, be sure to wear proper clothing and gear. You may face a large range of risks, such as contaminated water, animals and insects, sagging ceiling, and splintered woods.

At a minimum, you should prepare the following:

  • Long sleeve shirts
  • Long pants
  • Sturdy boots or shoes, but not flip flops or tennis shoes
  • Gloves
  • Disposable masks
  • Hard hats
  • Eye protection

Basic Cleaning Supplies

Depending on the damage in your home, the items listed below are the essentials to help you start your clean up:

  • Detergent
  • Sponges
  • Bleach
  • Shop-vac or canister vacuum cleaners
  • Rubber gloves
  • Buckets
  • Mops and brooms
  • Carpet knife
  • Shovels and rakes
  • Durable trash bags

Evaluate Home Safety

After the weather has subsided, approach your house with caution. Check the structures for damage or cracks. If in doubt, call a structure inspector or disaster repair professionals right away. Also, make sure that there are no gas leakages, down wires, and damaged pipes.

Keep Good Records

Document the severity of damage to your house for future claims from your insurance through photos and videotapes. Also, keep receipts of clean-up expenses, labor, materials, equipment rentals, and motel expenses.


Before the clean-up, disinfect anything that has come in contact with floodwaters using safe and authorized disinfectants. You may consider the following procedures in your clean up:

  • Turn off all power switches.
  • Unplug appliances.
  • Dry off flooded appliances.
  • Scrub your entire home, including your appliances and everything that was exposed to elements or floodwater.
  • Remove carpets and rugs and discard carpet padding. Before removing your carpet, scrub it with a soap solution since it’s difficult to clean it when it’s removed.
  • It’s more practical to take curtains and draperies to a dry cleaner for professional cleaning.
  • Let your basement dry and clean out debris. In case of floods, wait for the floodwater to recede before entering. If the issue is severe, call a local restoration company right away. See here for more information about water damage.
  • Open all your windows to allow drying and ventilation. You may use electric fans to speed up the drying process.

Seek Financial Help

In addition to your insurance provider, there are other sources of financial assistance to help you with clean-up and recovery:

  • Voluntary organizations
  • Businesses
  • Government disaster programs

To Sum Up

Determine, examine, and control risks systematically to eliminate or reduce hazards. When it comes to demolition or repairs, leave them to the experts because they have the experience and specialized equipment. Be mindful of unlicensed repair contractors and ensure to check licenses and insurance.

On top of these, call references of any contractors you hire and remember to ask about hidden charges. If you want to narrow your search within your area, you may go to your browser and type, “restoration contractors near me.