Storm Damage Clean up

How to Safely Clean Up After a Storm

Hurricane Michael certainly wiped out a lot of Oceanside construction up and down Panama City Beach, Mexico Beach, and surrounding neighborhoods. While not everyone got hit, many of us are still cleaning up the mess. I don’t want this to deter anyone from choosing Panama City Beach as a wonderful vacation destination, because it certainly is that. As with any locale, especially those on the ocean, chances of storms is imminent. But, many of our buildings are constructed to be hurricane proof and have withstood the test of time through many storms. If you are experiencing some hurricane damage and currently in the process of cleaning up, here are some suggestions for safely cleaning up after a hurricane, storm, or flood.

Consider any floodwater, dangerous and toxic.

You have no idea what could be in the water that may have flooded your home. It’s important to where boots that are completely sealed to your skin, gloves, and outfits that seal off any water from touching your skin. There could be contaminants in the water, things from the ocean, or other diseases, and one of the first things you’ll need to do is to remove the water and eliminate any mold.

After a flood, removing water can be daunting but you’ll need utility pumps and wet dry vacuums as well as any carpet or upholstery cleaners. You may need to remove the flooring altogether and start over. Make sure you do not enter a flooded space unless you are sure the electricity is turned off. After any standing water has been removed, you’ll want to remove additional moisture so that mold and mildew does not form. Use dehumidifiers for several weeks to keep the airflow circulating.

Don’t use in-home laundry machines.

Heavily soiled laundry may require special handling. You want to try to use the closest laundromat or drycleaners instead of your own machines. You want to take heavily soiled laundry, rinse it out as much is possible, allow the items to try to prevent mildew and then have them professionally cleaned. If they have been flooded or saturated, it could have a lot of contaminants in the material itself.

Take pictures.

If insurance is going to cover things, take pictures of everything before you start cleaning.

Be careful of wildlife. Wildlife can be a concern, especially in the Florida Everglades area. Snakes and other wildlife could be dangerous so use wooden sticks to turn over items that might harbor critters and the floor will be sticky so make sure you use heavy traction shoes.

Be careful of trees.

Trees, especially those that have been around electrical wires, can be extremely dangerous and may be hanging on by a thread. Use a professional tree care specialist to evaluate the damage to any trees and foliage on your property. They may need to be removed by a professional.

Again, take as many photos as possible. This is your evidence to submit in an insurance claim. It is one of the very first steps to take to ensure a successful rebuild. And from all of us at, we wish you well, safety, and success on your rebuild.