Safety Cleaning Up After a Storm

It’s finally summer, and in addition to the barbecues and beach trips, there are thunderstorms. A particularly powerful storm can cause significant damage, from missing shingles to trees and limbs littering your yard and street.

Cleaning up can be a bit of a chore anyway, but it can also be unsafe if you aren’t careful. Before you start cleaning up after a storm, take these safety precautions:

  • Wear appropriate clothing. At a minimum, you’re going to want gloves, long sleeves, jeans, boots, and some kind of eye protection.
  • Never go near a power line. Power lines should always assumed to be active, even if you’re sure they aren’t. Don’t risk it—stay far away from downed power lines and call the power company with the location.
  • Pay attention to smells. If you smell anything that smells like smoke, fire, or fuel, get away from the area.
  • Don’t use candles and matches. There are too many potential fire hazards caused by storm damage, so don’t risk it—keep a flashlight and extra batteries on hand for emergencies.
  • Take breaks. It’s still summer, so it’s hot—take breaks and stay hydrated as you work!

Most of the damage from a thunderstorm is exterior, and some of it can be prevented by securing things that are likely to fly around in heavy winds, including lawn chairs and all outdoor furniture, light charcoal grills, and yard decorations.

Trust your senses—if something seems dangerous, it probably is! If you have any doubts about the safety of the debris in your yard or neighborhood, call professionals or the authorities.

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