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 Cleaning Up

During an emergency, household chemicals can spill or leak creating potentially serious hazards. Take precautions to keep children and pets away. Be careful cleaning up hazardous substances. Don’t combine chemicals or dump them down drains or toilets.

If your basement is flooded you will undoubtedly feel a sense of urgency to get the water out fast. If the ground outside is still waterlogged, emptying the basement quickly can lead to structural damage, collapsed walls or a buckled floor. Instead, gradually pump the water out over a period of several days.

Germs and mold become major hazards after a flood. Keep lots of bleach handy to sterilize water and hard surfaces. Remember to protect yourself, wear rubber boots and gloves, keep a window open and use unscented bleach. Never mix bleach with ammonia or other cleaners, the chemical reaction is toxic. Bleach can be used to clean mold off hard surfaces, however, mold laden cloth and other hard-to-clean items (like carpet) will need to be removed from the home.

To learn more about what to do before, during and after any type of disaster, go to http://www.ready.gov/be-informed 

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