If you need help cleaning up, call Crisis Clean Up: 844-965-1386 or 800-451-1954 to be placed on a list for assistance by more than 140 relief agencies who are coordinating cleanup efforts.

 

STEP 1: Preparations & Safety

 

DOCUMENT:

Before you begin, for insurance purposes, document with photos and / or video what is in the house. In normal circumstances you would wait for an insurance adjuster to visit and catalog your items, but if you can’t wait, at least document the items and their location. Same with your carpet, cabinets, etc. Make sure you have proof that it was in or on your property before you move it. Also keep receipts for any cleanup supplies you buy like trash bags, masks, tools etc for later reimbursement. The basics of documentation are to photograph the material in your home, photograph it being removed, and photograph it where it is left for removal. You have a right to remove anything that is considered a public health hazard (environments that encourage the collection of rodents certainly falls under this category). Remove a swatch of carpet and keep this for reference. Small pieces are all that are needed (Examples include: flood rotten trim piece, carpet pad piece (small is fine), carpet sample. What has to be verified is that the items removed actually were a part of your residence, or were inside your residence (furniture, etc…).

Use this info graph as a guide of what to photograph.

MOLD: If you are removing mold, it is important for you to know the health hazards. The EPA has a good guide that provides a lot of information, but most noted is to use N95, P95 or R95 respirator, protective clothing (disposable coveralls are very helpful with this type of removal), shoes and gloves. This waste needs to be separated from other waste. The mask must fit securely over your face and stay seated when you are moving around. If your facial hair is preventing the mask from sealing against the skin, you are not protected! If only a portion of the building has mold, be sure to seal off the unaffected area so mold spores can’t spread to those areas.

See: https://www.epa.gov/mold/mold-cleanup-after-floods.
http://ebolapreparedness.org/n95-vs-p95-vs-r95-respirator-masks/

This is physically demanding and dirty work. Suggested clothing is long sleeves, long pants, and closed toed shoes. Suggested protective equipment is a half or full face N95, P95 or R95 mask, non vented goggles, and gloves. Even if the airborne particles don’t bother you, they can make you sick. Wear that mask, please! It’s also a good idea to remember to take breaks, and stay fed and hydrated.