Before Work Begins

Purchase and order tools and supplies

Make a list of all supplies that are needed, including personal protective equipment and order them ahead of time.

Plan for trash removal

Know how your community is handling the pick-up of flood-damaged debris or slush. If debris left on the curb will not be picked up, make plans to rent a dumpster or have a contractor/volunteer/government cleaners haul the waste for you.

Set up a storage area for items to be saved

If belongings will be saved, determine how much storage you need for those items. If they cannot be stored at the home, make plans for moving and storage at another location. Personal belongings that come from mold-contaminated areas must be cleaned

Set up electricity

Set up portable generators outside the home if the electrical system was flood- damaged and there is no other electrical source nearby. Indoor use of generators creates carbon monoxide hazards. If the home has electricity, hire an electrician to install one outlet box for construction, then shut off all the other electricity running through the house. You may also see if the local electric utility company can install an electric outlet box on a street pole that all the surrounding houses can use.

Set up secure tool storage area

You must keep your tools safe. If you are working out of a car, store your tools in the trunk and keep it locked. You can also bolt a strong box to the floor of the workspace. Screw carriage bolts through 2” x 4” boards running across the underside of the floor- boards. Tighten the bolt inside the box. You may also want to think about setting up a community tool storage area.

Turn off gas

Turn off gas (cylinder/pipe) until the system is inspected.

Bathroom access

You must have a working bathroom. If the bathroom in your house cannot be used and there is no public bathroom nearby rent a portable toilet or the volunteers would arrange for one. This can be shared by several neighbors. Set up a safety and cleanup area next to the toilet.

Source: Manoj Nair

Manoj Nair has been a journalist for nearly 15 years, working for several leading Indian publications The Economic Times, Outlook and Hindustan Times. He is also a guest lecturer at University Arts London and is currently working on the history of Indian rock music to be published by Harper Collins in 2019. He lives and works in Kochi.

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