Recovering After a Disaster

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Destructive disasters are becoming more common now more than ever. They range from natural calamities to acts of terror to biochemical hazards. While the impact of these disasters may differ, they all have one thing in common – they are to create a mess. Recovering from a destructive event starts with cleaning up, and it is important to stay safe while sweeping. Here are a few tips on how you can stay safe when dealing with the immediate mess of the disaster:

  1. Beware of electric lines. Electricity-related accidents are the most common injuries reported after a disaster. Although power is most commonly turned off during and after a major calamity, be sure to stay away from downed power lines. Also make sure to turn off the general switch of your house before proceeding with the cleanup.
  2. Stay alert for possible broken gas lines. Hurricanes, tornadoes and earthquakes can cause major structural damages to your home. Gas lines are often damaged along with the house structure. Be alert for possible broken gas lines such as a hissing sound or the smell of gas.
  3. Wear appropriate, protective clothes. After a disaster, expect to find a lot of debris around your house that can pose risk for injuries – broken glass, boards with nails, steel bars, roofing, etc. So before getting busy with the clean-up, make sure you wear protective wear such as long sleeves, sturdy boots or shoes, a hat and a sunscreen, heavy work gloves, and insect repellant. You can prevent a wide range of minor injuries by just wearing the protective clothes. Also, make sure to wear clothes that are appropriate for the weather.
  4. Take photographs of the damage to property for insurance purposes. Insurance companies may require you to present proof of the damages.
  5. Engaging in physical labor after a stressful event can be very taxing. Make sure to drink plenty of fluids, take breaks, and eat regularly.
  6. Stay tuned for announcements and instructions from your local authorities. Listen for updates about relief services, in some cases, such as in earthquakes, you have to be informed about possible after-shocks or tsunami alerts. It is recommended that you have back-up communication line for early warning.
  7. Let professional cleanup services or home builders do tasks you are not comfortable or are not skilled at. While you can do the cleaning yourself, major home repairs are best left for professional to handle.
  8. Segregate trash from salvageable items. Label them accordingly so that they do not get thrown away.
  9. It’s not uncommon for your possessions to get strewn about the neighborhood, such as after major flooding. It would be easier for your things to be returned if they have your name engraved or written on them. However, do not expect to recover all lost possessions.
  10. Finally, always stay alert for possible dangers while cleaning. Make sure you have your first aid kit ready, in case you need it.

The steps you take immediately after a disaster is as equally important as the steps you take while preparing for it. Hopefully, these tips can help you stay safe while recovering from a disaster.

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