When tornadoes or high winds damage your property, you may think the worst damage is done. However, many injuries occur in the aftermath. Keep these tips in mind as you clean up storm damage.
Tornadoes: Cleaning Up Storm Damage
ASSESSING THE DAMAGE:
Do not enter a damaged building or structure.
Wear protective gear. Gloves, sturdy footwear, long pants and long sleeves can help prevent injury from exposed nails, broken glass and sharp edges on metal.
Be cautious about fire, electrocution or explosions. Shut off electrical power, natural gas and propane tanks. Do not touch damaged power lines, gas lines, wiring or electrical systems. Report them to emergency responders and utility companies.
Use battery-powered flashlights or lanterns. Any lighting source with an open flame could cause a spark that ignites an undetected gas leak.
Let public safety officials do their job. In the wake of a disaster, emergency personnel have the overwhelming task of helping the injured, providing safety and preventing further loss of property. Keep the street clear and don’t enter damaged areas unless assistance has been requested. In your eagerness to help, you could be getting in the way of relief efforts or creating another problem.
CLEANING UP DAMAGE:
Take photos. Document damage with a camera for insurance or federal assistance claims.
Use tools correctly. Learn how to use power tools properly and what precautions to take before you start. Learn which recovery supplies you may want to have on hand.
Take precaution when cleaning up spills. Your skin and clothing could come in contact with flammable or hazardous materials. Or, you could be exposed to dangerous fumes.