Proper Cleanup After Katrina Can Minimize Water Damage

TAMPA, Fla., Aug. 26 /PRNewswire/ — If Hurricane Katrina caused leaks or flooding around your home or business, the Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS) says proper cleanup will help minimize the potential damage water can cause.

As soon as it’s safe to enter damaged areas:
* Make sure the building is structurally safe to enter or reoccupy.
* Turn off electrical power. Do not use electricity until it is safe to
do so.
* Ensure that natural gas sources are safely secured.
* Secure the exterior to prevent further water intrusion. This can
include boarding up broken windows, making temporary roof repairs,
sealing cracks or tacking down plastic sheeting against open gaps in
walls or roofs.

When it’s safe to begin cleanup:
* Disconnect all electronics/electrical equipment and move it to a safe,
dry location.
* Remove as much standing water as possible from inside the building.
* Begin to remove water-damaged materials immediately and take photos or
save samples of discarded items, such as carpets, for insurance
purposes.
* Ventilate the home as best you can with fans and/or dehumidifiers.
* Contact a water extraction company, if necessary, for assistance.

By taking immediate action, you will limit the damage and increase the chance of salvaging usable materials. You’ll also reduce the amount of rust, rot, mold and mildew that may develop, and lower the likelihood that the water will lead to structural problems.

More information can be found on the IBHS web site http://www.disastersafety.org/. Visit the Water & Mold section to view the “Water Damage Recovery Guide,” which has detailed cleanup instructions. Request free single copies of any IBHS publication by calling toll free (866) 657-4247.

IBHS is a national nonprofit initiative of the insurance industry to reduce deaths, injuries, property damage, economic losses and human suffering caused by natural disasters.

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