According to a news release from NCSERT, flood water leaves behind silt and mud so workers are advised to wear sturdy shoes to prevent slipping and falling and gloves to provide additional protection from contamination. Frequent hand washing is recommended and if a backflow of sewage has gotten into the house, wear rubber boots and waterproof gloves during cleanup.
"My main concern with flood waters is the mold," Myers said. "Bleach does not get rid of mold, all bleach does is take the color out of mold so they spray it on and they think it's gone, but it's not, it's going to grow back. It has to be treated professionally by a company that removes the mold."
Myers recommends flood victims contact an emergency response cleanup company like
"They actually know how to get rid of the damage and the poisons," she said.
"We brought in our Storm Team," Harris said. "It's a program we use when floods and disasters happen.
"We also have Large Loss Teams here for businesses like the airport, retirement homes, schools and colleges and they work with our Extreme Teams," Harris said. "Extreme Teams do really big jobs like hospitals, if they were affected."
The cleanup and restoration company is using every available resource to help the residents of
Once residents are able to get back into their homes, Harris recommends getting anything they might want to salvage out immediately.
"Any pictures, or things that just mean a lot to them, get those items out of the house because the longer they stay in the house, the more damaged they can become," Harris said. "With all the claims that we have, it could take a couple of days for a crew to get to you, so if you have contents in the house that can be saved, it would be beneficial, if you can, some people can't, but it you can, go ahead and start getting some of that stuff out."
For insurance purposes, Harris recommends keeping tabs on contents removed from the house with a chart or by taking photos of the damaged contents.
"We do have crews working around the clock to get to people," Harris said. "There is a small waiting list but that's natural, given how many claims there's going to be once all the water goes down, so just be patient. We're trying to work with everybody that's affected and we're trying to get crews out to people as soon as possible."
NCSERT recommends flood victims remove and discard contaminated household materials that cannot be disinfected, such as rugs and drywall, wash all linens and clothing in hot water or have them dry-cleaned, and throw out anything that cannot be washed, such as mattresses and upholstered furniture or air dry them in the sun and then spray them thoroughly with a disinfectant.
Walls, hard-surface floors and many other household surfaces should be cleaned with soap and water and disinfected with a solution of one cup of bleach to five gallons of water. Use a two-bucket method, one for the cleaning solution and the other for rinse water, and replace the rinse water frequently.
Mildew can be removed with a household mildew cleaner or by using 1/4 cup (two ounces) of laundry bleach in one gallon of water.
Disinfect surfaces that may come in contact with food, such as counter tops, pantry shelves and refrigerators. If power has been off, throw away food that has been without refrigeration for more than two hours. Boxed foods like cereals, crackers and pastas that became wet need to be thrown away. When in doubt, throw it out.
Brooms, mops, brushes, sponges, buckets, hose, rubber gloves, rags, cleaning solutions, disinfectants, trash bags, and even a hair dryer should be on your cleaning list. If the tasks ahead seem overwhelming, NCSERT suggests to try focusing on one room at a time.
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