FEMA: Clean Up Damaged Homes, Record Damages

Thursday, May 20, 2010 | 11:51am
NASHVILLE – Residents in flood-damaged homes should begin cleanup as soon as it’s safe to enter their houses. There is no need to wait for a visit from FEMA damage inspectors to clean your home, but it’s important to record damages and keep receipts. Property owners can use video or photographs to record the damages. Documentation will be crucial when filing for government assistance and submitting insurance claims.
Some tips for the cleanup process include: 
  • Keep in mind that standing water may carry sewage and chemicals from roads, farms, factories and storage buildings, so you need to wear protective gear – face masks and rubber gloves – when cleaning.
  • Mud left in the aftermath of a flood can contain health hazards. It is extremely important to remove this mud from flood-affected structures as soon as possible, and to use care when doing so.
  • Floodwaters promote the growth of mold and mildew. Dry your home to reduce these hazards and the damage they cause.
  • Thoroughly wash and disinfect all flooded areas of your home.
  • Check with local authorities before using any water; have well water tested by experts. Don’t flush toilets until you know that sewage lines are intact.
  • Disinfect items contaminated by raw sewage, bacteria or chemicals. Thoroughly clean any items you salvage.
  • Keep detailed records. In addition to photos and videos, your receipts will help you document repair and cleanup costs for the filing process.
More tips on what to do after a disaster are available online at www.DisasterAssistance.gov.
If you have health and safety questions regarding flood cleanup, contact your local public health department.
If you need help and don’t know where to turn, the information line for the Tennessee statewide resource network is 2-1-1.

Press Releases | Tennessee Emergency Management Agency