[This article was first published in September 2021 and has been updated.]
2023 has turned out to be as bad as many recent years when it comes to disasters and distress. And it's just as important to stay safe in the aftermath.
Whether it's flood waters, storms, wildfires or some other natural disaster, staying safe after something destructive has happened is just as critical as staying safe when it's taking place.
I've Seen Fire and I've Seen Rain - Disasters in the U.S.
In the Western states, the drought has finally eased up after a winter of record snowfall and rain. But wildfires and floods have approached the level of natural disasters in many places throughout the nation.
As a story from U.S. New & World Report put it,
"The first seven months of 2023 saw the most billion-dollar disasters on record for the time period – and that doesn’t even count the Hawaii wildfires yet."
Along with many other nations in North and South America including Canada, Argentina, Paraguay, and others, this seems to be a year of unprecedented numbers of natural disasters.
The U.S. News story goes on to note that,
"In fact, 2023 has already seen the highest number of so-called “billion-dollar” disasters ever recorded in the first seven months of the year, according to government officials, setting it up to likely take the top spot from 2020, when 22 billion-dollar events were recorded.
Researchers at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration document the weather and climate disasters with damages that reach or exceed $1 billion. By the end of July, the U.S. saw 15 separate billion-dollar disasters.
However, the agency is already assessing several more events since the start of August, including droughts, floods, severe storms and the wildfires in Hawaii, where the death toll has surpassed 100 with more than a thousand people still missing."
And Hurricane Idalia was a powerful Category 4 hurricane that caused significant damage across parts of the southeastern United States, especially in Northern Florida, earlier this year.
And the list goes on.
The Importance of Having Professional Storm Cleanup Services
After a storm has passed, a flood has subsided, or a wildfire, has been contained and extinguished, there is almost always damage and debris to be dealt with.
Storm cleanup can be a complex undertaking that demands expertise, specialized equipment, and a methodical approach to ensure a secure and effective recovery process.
Professional storm cleanup services play a pivotal role in not only mitigating the damage caused by storms but also in restoring your property to its pre-storm condition.
Here are the major reasons why enlisting the expertise of professionals is essential for homeowners and business owners:
Prioritizing Safety: Storm-related damage often leads to perilous conditions, including downed power lines, unstable structures, and hazardous debris. Professional crews are meticulously trained to identify and promptly address these risks, guaranteeing the safety of all individuals involved.
Enhanced Efficiency: Seasoned storm clean-up teams are equipped with the necessary tools and resources to streamline the cleaning and restoration process. This heightened efficiency can expedite the return to normalcy, minimizing disruptions in your life.
In-Depth Expertise: Professionals possess a profound understanding of the intricacies of storm damage, which encompasses hidden structural issues and potential long-term consequences. Their expertise ensures a comprehensive clean-up process, leaving no detail overlooked.
Insurance Support: Numerous storm clean-up companies offer valuable assistance in navigating the complex insurance claims process. Their guidance can empower you to maximize your coverage, while also reducing out-of-pocket expenses, ensuring a smoother financial recovery.
Choosing professional storm cleanup services like Junk King is an investment in your safety, property, and peace of mind during the challenging aftermath of a storm and other natural disasters.
This Too Shall Pass: Staying Safe While Cleaning Up
While the vast majority of people who go through various types of natural disasters and other catastrophic events come out relatively unscathed, the danger doesn't end once the event has passed.
Cleaning up afterwards presents its own risks.
With that in mind, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has complied a checklist for those who choose to cleanup after a disaster:
General Safety Tips
Get the right safety gear
- Hard hats
- N95 masks (or a respirator with a higher protection level)
- Heavy work gloves
- Waterproof boots with steel toe and insole (not just steel shank)
- Earplugs or protective headphones (if you’re working with noisy equipment)
- At least two fire extinguishers (each with a UL rating of at least 10A)
Courtesy of the CDC
If sewage is involved, make sure to wear the following during your cleanup:
- Rubber boots
- Rubber gloves
Use teams to move heavy/bulky objects
- Have teams of at least two people work together to move heavy or bulky objects.
- Avoid lifting any material that weighs more than 50 pounds (per person).
- Cleaning up your home can be a big job. Be sure to take care of yourself:
- Rest when you need to.
- Decide which cleanup tasks are most important, and focus on those first. That way, you’re less likely to be overwhelmed.
- Get help lifting heavy or bulky objects. If you lift too much on your own, you could hurt yourself.
- Try to work with other people, so you aren’t alone.
- Get support from family members, friends, counselors, or therapists.
Stay safe in hot weather
- In hot weather, try to stay cool by staying in air-conditioned buildings, taking breaks in shaded areas or in cool rooms, drinking water and nonalcoholic fluids often, and wearing light and loose-fitting clothing.
- Do outdoor activities during cooler hours.
Watching the Children
Along with staying safe, keeping children and pets safe afterwards is just as critical.
Courtesy of the CDC
In addition, during any cleanup activities following a disaster - no matter how minor - it is always important to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning as well as electrical hazards.
Here are two CDC resources that address both of these:
- Carbon Monoxide Poisoning After a Disaster
- Protect Yourself and Others from Electrical Hazards After a Disaster
There are a number of additional resources available to homeowners who want to know how to keep themselves and their homes safe, and how to stay safe in the unlikely event of some large natural disaster.
Natural Disaster Junk Removal and Cleanup
Storms, floods, and wildfires may not destroy your home or business, but the aftermath means difficult and challenging work. The good news is that Junk King provides efficient, safe and eco-friendly junk removal services that makes the process easy for you.
Our experienced junk and trash removal teams have the resources necessary to haul off any debris and other junk items quickly, easily, and cost-effectively.
Our professional and insured junk removal and disposal team will call 15 to 30 minutes before we arrive at your home or business. And, once we’re there, we’ll give you a free quote based on how much room your junk will take up in our truck or rental dumpster.
You can make an appointment by booking online above or by calling 1.888.888.JUNK (5865).