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Cleaning Up After Hurricane Irma

Hurricane Irma was a natural disaster of epic proportions. Even now, we are trying to figure out how much damage has there is. And in some cases, we won’t know for weeks yet. Cleaning up what is left is a good place to start, it will help you realize the other things that need to get done.

Call Your Insurance Company

They can tell you what your policy covers and if there is a service that can help you clean. You will need to file a claim for any damage, regardless. If they offset services, you’ll want to know which providers will be approved and if it is required.

Designate Areas

Keeping everything organized while you clean can make it a little easier. Once you get further into the cleaning, it will be less organized; but you’ll at least want a designated area for things you don’t want or trash. It will help you move along faster just to throw what you don’t want away as you decide you don’t want it. Make sure you have all relevant documents. If you find important things to keep, you’ll want to have a designated area that is dry and safe. Make sure there is enough room for everything so that nothing sustains further damage.

Be Careful What You Move

Make sure you are paying attention to what you move and where you step. Some things will look like they are stable enough to hold weight but aren’t. Or you may shift something that will cause other things to move and fall. If something is unstable or broken, you may not see it at first. A natural disaster can make any area a dangerous place; Hurricane Irma is a good example of this. Take your time and make sure that you are looking carefully before you move.

Dry As Much As You Can

You want to keep everything you can as dry as possible. Mold can be expensive to remove, and you don’t want it in your home. This is the last thing you want to deal with, so drying everything off quickly is important. Drying the things you want to keep as you are cleaning is the easiest way to get this done.

Use Bleach

You want to be sure that you are keeping everything clean so that bacteria doesn’t breed and spread. While you are cleaning, use disinfectants like bleach. It may seem like a lot of work to do right now, but later you’ll be happy you did. Otherwise, you may have to go back and disinfect everything all over again. It will be much easier to clean everything you want to keep as you are sorting through what is left.

Wear a Mask

It can be hard to see what is floating around in the air. Broken gas lines or debris can revive dust and mold in the foundation, putting your lungs at risk. If there is nothing in the air, you were careful. But, if there is, you could end up with a nasty sinus or respiratory infection. Should you start to feel lightheaded, move to a safe area with clean and circulating air to rest. Let someone nearby know that you are feeling abnormal. Pay attention and call emergency services when needed.

Be Careful With Water

Hurricane Irma will have severed pipes, including sewage lines.  Be sure to cover your feet and that there aren’t any cuts or open wounds. Don’t drink any water, if you aren’t sure of its quality. And you don’t want to wash your hands in water if you aren’t sure it is clean. Sometimes we cut ourselves, without realizing it. Even the most superficial lesion is susceptible to infection and becomes dangerous.

Wear Clean Clothes

If you can change our clothes occasionally, that is something you will want to do. Cold and damp clothes promote illness. It will also attract bacteria and debris. If you only have one set of clothes to change into, you can alternate between them. While you are wearing one set, set the other out to dry and clean them if you can. Dry and clean socks and shoes are also essential. Fungus will find them a comfortable breeding ground, so avoid them.

Hurricane Irma has left a trail of devastation that can be very hard to deal with, but you want to take your time recovering.  Know that you’re going to be ok and you’ll make it through this. Here is more information about cleaning after Hurricane Irma.  You’ll also want to contact someone who has experience with electric and air conditioning repair. This is a good place to start. While you are cleaning everything up, it will be comforting to know that someone will be helping you get electricity back in your home.

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