Tips for Cleaning Up After a Natural Disaster

A natural disaster like a hurricane or a tornado, or even a flood or an earthquake can take a terrible toll on lives. We mourn for the lost ones and yet those of us who have been fortunate enough to escape it, have to try and get back to our regular lives. Disaster clean up after natural calamity can be a matter of concern and one should be extremely careful while handling things. Natural disaster means wreckage and destruction all around and one simply has to try and retrieve whatever they can from it. However, take suitable safety precautions while entering any site of damage.

  • Always wear protective gear like hats, goggles, gloves and boots. There have been innumerable instances when the rescuers and the relief workers have been injured while cleaning up the wreckage. One can never be sure when a beam might collapse or an iron rod might jut out.
  • It is mandatory to wear gas masks while entering and clearing sites of damage. There is a common misconception that unless there are cases of fire, there is no need to wear gas masks as such. This is a completely erroneous idea as there can be gas leakage from cylinders or a fire might ensure even during the cleaning process.
  • In case of earthquakes, often tunnels reek of pressurized gases and they can be fumes laden with carbon monoxide. Moreover, in case there is an unlikely accident and the rescuers themselves get trapped, they will have the oxygen with them until help arrives.
  • Take care not to enter any building that has been damaged by the disaster, before the professionals have made it sure that it is safe to do so. The very foundation of the building might have been weakened. Stairwells might have becomes unstable and the roof might simply collapse with the slightest of vibration. Unless the condition has been determined, try not to enter it.
  • Be sure not to try and switch on any electrical appliances or even lights inside a wrecked building, especially around water. Chances of electrocution can be very high and one should always carry spare torches and halogen lamps for cleaning tasks. Even generators can pose a serious risk if the connection has been disrupted and allow a professional to take a look before touching anything.

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