After a hurricane has passed, failure to remove contaminated materials can
cause health risks. If you have had flooding, water must be removed as quickly as possible since it may contain material from overflowing sewage systems.
The following measures should be taken to ensure proper clean-up:
-- Walls, hard-surfaced floors and many other household surfaces must be cleaned with soap and water and disinfected with a solution of 1 cup of bleach to five gallons of water.
-- Thoroughly disinfect surfaces that come in contact with food and children’s play areas.
-- Wash all linens and clothing in hot water or dry-clean.
-- Items that cannot be washed or dry-cleaned, such as mattresses and upholstered furniture, must be air dried in the sun and sprayed thoroughly with a disinfectant.
-- Steam-clean all carpeting.
-- Fiberboard, fibrous insulation and disposable filters that have contacted floodwater or sewage should be replaced in your heating and air conditioning system.
-- Wear rubber boots and waterproof gloves during clean-up.
-- Be careful about mixing household cleaners and disinfectants, as combining certain types of products can produce toxic fumes and result in injury or death.
It can be difficult to throw away items in a home, particularly those with sentimental value. However, keeping certain items soaked by sewage or floodwaters may be unhealthy. In general, materials that cannot be thoroughly cleaned and dried within 24-48 hours should be discarded.