Returning to a home that has been ravaged by a natural disaster can be a heart-breaking and overwhelming experience. To see the place where you have built a life in such a state can make you feel like there is no recovering from this, but we want to assure you that it can be done. Thousands of Americans each year must return to homes and businesses that have been impacted by fire, floods and severe storms, and many of them must rebuild in order to move on with life. It can be a slow process, between sorting through debris and working with insurance companies, but once the work is done and life can resume as it once did, you’ll be more relieved than you’d have previously thought possible.
Of course, there are extensive safety measures that must be taken in order to safely rebuild after a disaster.
- Make sure that your hands, eyes and feet are properly protected when handling debris, mold caused by flooding or slippery floors. Work boots, thick gloves and protective eyewear are essential if you find yourself having to sort through the wreckage.
- Before you give yourself the task of cleaning or removing anything, acquaint yourself with any new safety concerns that have come about as a result of the disaster. Smoldering insulation, dead animals on the property, broken glass, gas leaks and faulty electrical wiring should all be looked for and reported to disaster relief authorities immediately before any work begins.
- Don’t overwork yourself. Rebuilding cannot be done in a day, and you will find yourself unable to do much of anything if you are not properly rested, fed and hydrated. Drink plenty of water, get as much sleep as you can and make sure to eat. It might feel like you don’t have the time to take care of yourself in the face of this destruction, but in reality you don’t have the time to not care for yourself.
- Check the exterior of the home before walking inside. Look for things like downed power lines and structural damage. If anything seems too precarious for you to work around safely, call in a local building inspector before you begin any of the work yourself.
- Do not enter the home if there are still floodwaters surrounding it, or if you smell gas.
- Make use of a battery-powered flashlight when inspecting the extent of your home’s damage. A lot of things, including venomous animals, can lurk in the piles of debris that remain after a disaster, and you don’t want to be caught by surprise. Make sure to turn the flashlight on outside of the home before entering, as the spark from a flashlight can ignite gas from a leak, if a leak is present.
- Turn off the electricity in your home at the main fuse or circuit breaker. Do not do this if the area is surrounded by water, or if you are wet.
- Turn off your home’s water at the main valve and avoid drinking any water from the pipes unless it has been declared safe.
- Clean up chemical spills and disinfect anything that has come into contact with contaminated water, sewage, or chemicals.
- Record and photograph everything that is damaged, and everything that you have done to rectify the damage. This will be important when dealing with your insurance company.
Returning home after a disaster can be overwhelming, but you don’t have to do it alone. Call Restore Pro today at 781-664-9800 or connect with us on Facebook to help you and your family during the process of rebuilding after catastrophe strikes.