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20 Safety Cleaning Up Tips That Can Help You This Hurricane Season

by Carolyn Lee Sep 23, 2022

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We've Got 20 Safety Cleaning Up Tips That Can Help You This Hurricane Season

Jamaica and the Cayman Islands are on high alert for a tropical storm and potentially a category one hurricane. Tropical Depression Nine might impact Jamaica, the Cayman Islands, Cuba, and other countries over the weekend, possibly dumping heavy rainfall and causing flash flooding. The system may also cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions to develop.

When a hurricane causes extensive flooding and debris damaging structures, attempting to return to normal requires substantial cleaning-up efforts. We have a few helpful tips and reminders you can use.

Important safety tips to keep in mind before and during clean-up

  1. Check on your neighbours to see if they need help.
  2. Seek medical assistance for persons who have been injured at the nearest clinic, health centre or hospital.
  3. Listen for updates and instructions from the relevant authorities before venturing out.
  4. Wear protective clothing like gloves, goggles, safety helmets, high visibility clothing, and safety footwear.
  5. Do not touch dangling or electrical wires. Also, ensure you report these wires to the relevant authorities immediately.
  6. Work with a partner or group, so you have someone to help if you encounter difficulties or need help with moving large objects.
  7. Use text messages, emails, or social media to communicate with others if phone systems are busy. Save phone calls for emergencies only.
  8. Do not wade into flooded areas, as sharp objects or fallen electrical wires may be obscured in the water. Prevent children from playing in floodwaters.
  9. Report any sewage leakages and broken water pipes to the relevant authorities.
  10. Collect debris and fallen branches and put them in areas where they aren’t a hazard to others.
  11. Unless contaminated, do not empty stored water until regular water services are restored.
  12. Boil all water used for drinking until a safe water supply is restored.
  13. To reduce the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning, if you are using a generator, keep it at least 20 feet outside away from doors or windows. Do not grill inside.
  14. Always wash your hands with soap and water after contact with floodwaters.
  15. Do not drive through flooded areas.
  16. Do not eat food that has been in floodwaters or hasn’t been appropriately refrigerated (meats, eggs, seafood, or milk).
  17. Avoid rodent infestation by keeping food and garbage covered. If possible, trap rodents.
  18. Minimise the risk of leptospirosis by covering cuts or abrasions with waterproof bandages.
  19. Throw away medication that has touched floodwaters or requires refrigeration.
  20. Reduce exposure to mould by limiting the amount of moisture in your home. Clean and dry it quickly. Fix broken pipes and leaking roofs. Also, clean areas that have mould on them.

Cleaning up will be timely and needs to be done correctly. If you are volunteering, always practice safety. Be alert. Be aware, and most importantly, be safe. Head to Find Yello for a list of businesses that provide essential supplies you can add to your hurricane preparedness kit. If you found this article helpful, we’ve also prepared a list of weather jargons you may hear during the hurricane season.

Sources: ODPEM, CDC, NOAA, and Ready Gov.