Proper Debris Management – Key to Disaster and FEMA Assistance

Natural disasters are a part of life, and unfortunately they’re becoming increasingly common. Wildfires, hurricanes, mudslides, earthquakes, and other disasters can happen throughout the year, and people need to be prepared. You may have gone over your evacuation plan with your family dozens of times, and may even have several backup plans in place in case something goes wrong. You can do everything right when you evacuate, but your home may still be badly damaged or destroyed.

Coverage and help after a disaster

Your homeowner’s insurance policy can do a lot to protect you in the event of a disaster, but you still may need some extra assistance. You may be able to get help from Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) after a disaster. FEMA has spent a lot on repair costs and emergency management since it was formed in 1978. In 2015 alone the agency spent $1,266,097,994 in coverage, and it looks that number will only grow.

Debris management and water damage cleanup will take up a lot of time after a disaster. FEMA does their best to promptly respond during emergencies, but after a large scale disaster you can expect to wait a bit. If you want to get a head start on surveying and cleaning your property, make sure to do it safely.

Be mindful of gas

You may assume that there’s no way you could still have gas after a disaster, but that assumption has hurt plenty of people in the past. Running gas lines are very dangerous after a disaster. Gas vapors can be present and accumulate in buildings, and rooms should be ventilated if it’s safe to enter your home or building. Open doors and windows, and never smoke or light matches. Also be mindful for the potential of carbon monoxide if you’re running gasoline powered generators, power washers, or other machinery.

Fight against mold and bacteria

Water damage isn’t just troublesome, it can also lead to health hazards. Water damaged property is the ideal breeding ground for mold and bacteria, and standing water can attract troublesome micro-organisms and insects. If possible, remove standing water and wet materials as quickly as possible. After you’ve removed debris and other material, you have to start the long process of drying out the building. Heavily contaminated flood waters can have contaminants that can deeply penetrate into wet porous materials, and they can be released into the air or water at a later time. A dehumidifier can help remove moisture if damage is moderate, but if it’s severe you’ll need professional help.

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