The First 48: What NOT to do in the First Hours after a Disaster
When disaster strikes you are often confused and feel a little bit lost. Panic, at times grief and even depression can quickly set in. Instead of ensuing panic and stress, you and your loved ones can take control of the situation with this short check list of things you should not do in the first 48 hours after a disaster occurs.
1. DO NOT: Leave Your Things Behind!
Regardless of the disaster circumstances and conditions, you should take care of the things that are salvageable and most important to you so that additional damage is not incurred.
Fires: Even if you haven’t lost items due to actual fire damage, the smoke will quickly settle into the fabrics and surfaces, causing additional damage due to discoloration and odor. If you have a way to air them out, this might be a good first option; however, hiring a professional restoration company that deals with these issues on a regular basis is probably your best bet.
Water: In the case of water damage, there are many more problems that come. You will probably have mold, staining and even decay of older, more fragile items. Experts recommend getting as much as you can off of the floor to minimize discoloration and staining.
2. DO NOT: Turn on Ceiling Fixtures or Fans
This is especially important if the ceiling is wet, sagging or unstable because doing so could cause more damage in these conditions.
3. DO NOT: Attempt to Dry the Floors with a Space Heater or Fan
This will dry the flooring only. The pad underneath will remain wet and may begin to grow mold or mildew, making your home even more unhealthy and dangerous for you to be in.
4. DO NOT: Re-Enter your Home if it is Unsafe
If you wouldn’t feel comfortable letting your children, pets, spouse, best friend, or celebrity crush running through your house, you shouldn’t go in either. Let the professionals take care of the mess and stabilize your home before you re-enter.