Practical Guidelines in Cleaning Up Your Home After a Natural Disaster

Did you know that the risk increases in the aftermath of a natural disaster?

Whether it’s a tornado, earthquake, or hurricane, recovery work should not put you in danger. In 2015, the United States Labor Department cautioned the locals of North Carolina to be alert and understand the hazards during storm clean up. Fortunately, these may be minimized with proper knowledge, protective equipment, and safe work practices.

Cleaning up Up After a Disaster

It’s always best to leave a disaster cleanup to the professionals because they are trained with proper equipment and experience. However, there are actions you can carry out to prevent more damage to your property.

Use Proper Clothes and Equipment

Before even starting to clean up, make sure to use appropriate clothing and equipment. You may be faced with various dangers: contaminated water, animals and insects, sagging ceilings, and splintered woods.

At a minimum, you need to 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

Prepare Basic Cleansing Supplies

Depending on the damage in your house, the list below are essentials to assist you in starting 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. Inspect the foundations for damage or cracks. If in doubt, call a building inspector or disaster restoration experts right away. Also, ensure that there are no gas leaks, down wires, and damaged pipes.

Keep Good Records

Document the severity of damage to your house for future claims from your insurance company through taking photos and videos. Moreover, keep invoices of clean up expenses, labor, supplies, equipment rentals, and motel bills.


  • 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. Click here to know more about water damage and what you can do.
  • 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 coverage, there are other sources of financial help to assist you with clean up and recovery:

  • Voluntary organizations
  • Businesses
  • Government disaster programs

On the Whole

Determine, examine, and control hazards in a systematic manner to eliminate or reduce threats. Leave demolition or repairs to the experts who have the experience and specialized equipment. Beware of unlicensed repair contractors and ensure to inspect licenses and insurance.

On top of these, call references of the contractors you hire and always inquire about hidden charges.