Emergency Natural Disaster Cleanup


Proper Disaster Cleanup!



© Copyright 2012, By Gary Benton

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If you live long enough, sooner or later you'll experience a disaster and regardless of the type of emergency, you'll have a mess to cleanup once it passes. I've been lucky and have survived tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes, floods, and other acts of God. While my family and I have come out okay, each time the yard was filled with fallen trees, broken limbs, debris, and even dead wild animals, such as squirrels or rabbits. You, as the property owner, will be responsible for the cleanup, but most towns and cities will run trucks through the neighborhood to remove junk from the curb.


To me, I find the cleanup of the yard fairly easy with the tools I keep in my shed. I use a chainsaw to remove trees and limbs, a wheelbarrow to remove the cut wood to the curb, and a shovel and rake to remove dead animals. While not hard, it does take time and a lot of hard work to cleanup properly and I'm always tired after a day of handling the chainsaw and wheelbarrow. But, what of the inside of your house?


Natural disasters can cause water mains to break, electrical power to go out, and even contaminate your drinking water. Let's look at these one at a time and see what you can do it if happens to you.


Your home could be flooded by a nearby body of water, such as a lake, pond, river or even a small stream. Homes in low areas are susceptible to flooding from a number of different sources of water. Broken water mains are common following tornadoes, hurricanes or earth quakes, so be prepared and know where and how to turn your water supply off. Once the emergency has passed, often your home will have water inside, so how do you get rid of it quickly? I've see many different methods tried, but none work as well as using a water pump. Tsurumi Pumps work well and their prices are more than reasonable for the quality you get. I highly recommend a water pump, because doing it by hand takes a long time and the water is never completely removed. If the water is not completely removed, mold may be your next problem.


When power is lost many American's panic and have no idea what to do next. The smart thing is have an emergency power generator, which I have, so you don't really have to worry about power. However, if you don't have a generator, unless it's very hot or cold, you can make do without electrical power. If you have family members with special needs, elderly or small children you may have to evacuate to a safer location. If you stay, take duct tape, masking tape, or any tape you may have on hand and tape your freezer door closed, this will keep in cold for a couple of days, and eat the foods in your refrigerator before you move to the freezer. In most cases power is restored in a couple of days, but I've been without power for as long as a week. Light at night is more of a psychological need than a real physical need, so remember that. Most homes have candles or lamps that can be used in emergencies. If you don't have these items, purchase them now, before you need them.


Contaminated drinking can be a problem, because water is more important than food for human survival in any emergency. If the area has flooded, your water source could be contaminated with fuel, oils, or even dead animals or humans, so boil your water for at least three minutes to kill any bacteria it may have. Use bleach to purify your water and you can learn more if you visit my page on natural disasters . Most homes have a hot water heater that holds around 40 gallons of water and many have a faucet on the side. Depending on the number of people in your home, you can survival a long time using the water from the hot water heater. Be sure to turn it off or cool before removing water.


Your home may have structural damage, broken windows, trees on the roof, or the roof may be completely gone. Do not use a home with severe structural damage as a place to live, instead contact your insurance agent and locate a hotel for a few days. Any structural damage makes your home unsafe to live in and additional injury or death could occur. It's just not worth the risk.


Surviving a natural disaster is a task in itself and the cleanup that always follows is hard work, but having the right equipment on hand before an emergency makes the job easier. You'll need a chainsaw, good leather work gloves, work boots, water pump, and I highly suggest a portable generator. Take a look in your garage or shed and see what you may need to make your disaster cleanup easier, because it's a good idea to get it before a disaster hits.




Disaster Cleanup


Gary Benton has over 45 years of outdoor experience in camping, hiking, fishing, and other activities. He's no armchair survival man, he's walked the walk from the arctic to the desert and all the area in between. Gary has an associates degree in Search and Rescue, Survival Operations, a B.S. in Industrial Occupational safety, and all but his thesis completed for a M.S. in Counseling Psychology.
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