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9/2/2011 - Cleaning up your flooded home

The Red Cross says walls, floors and other surfaces should be cleaned and disinfected following a flood.

After Hurricane Irene, your home and its contents may look beyond hope, but many of your belongings can be restored. If you do things right, your flooded home can be cleaned up and reoccupied sooner than you think.

Here are some safety tips the American Red Cross and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) put together to help get you back up to speed.

Take care of yourself first. Protect yourself and your family from stress, fatigue, and health hazards that follow a flood.
Check your home before entering. Walk carefully around the outside of your home to check for structural damage, loose power lines and gas leaks. If you can venture into your home, be sure to turn off your electricity and gas.
Call your insurance agent to report your claim and develop a recovery plan. If you have separate flood insurance, also call your flood insurance agent to report your claim. Your agent may be able to give you advice about where to get help with cleanup and repair. Be sure to record of list of damages and take photos of those items.
Dry out your home. Everything will dry more quickly and clean more easily if you can reduce the humidity in the home. Open windows and doors and turn on your fans.
Clean up. The walls, floors, closets, shelves, contents and any other flooded parts of your home should be thoroughly washed and disinfected.
Look for flood assistance resources. There are many resources in your community that can help you through recovery, including voluntary agencies, businesses, insurance, and government disaster programs.

For more comprehensive details on how to repair your flooded home, click here to read more.

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