As most of you are all too aware, our region was recently impacted by Super Storm Sandy. Although a month has passed, the recovery efforts are in many cases just beginning, and there is a long road ahead for many. To all of those who were affected, our hearts go out to you. This series of posts is intended to provide information that will hopefully help you in your storm recovery efforts.
First a word of caution: with any catastrophic event emotions run high. People and organizations are stretched thin, overwhelmed, and often exhausted. In those moments it is easy to make snap decisions that may ultimately cause negative effects on your home, health, and safety. Please consider the information here to simply be a guide to help you, but understand that every home, and every type of damage is different, and consulting with experts specific to your needs is always recommended. Feel free to contact us at Sherwood Inspection Services, LLC., either via phone at 866-646-9983, or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have specific questions or would like any clarification or additional information.
The biggest issue with any storm clean up is safety. It is imperative that equipment is used properly, and potentially unseen dangers are accounted for. One of the primary clean up issues we have seen in our area is the need to remove downed trees and other debris. When removing trees and brush, first ensure that your tools are in good, clean, operating condition. Chainsaws (and other tools) should always be used in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. Electric chainsaws are not recommended for this type of clean up as the power cords can easily get caught in branches, fall into puddles or other sources of moisture, or arc at the connection of the extension cord. If you absolutely must you an electric chainsaw, please use the utmost caution and awareness with regards to the power source.
Another consideration for your equipment is size/power of the equipment as compared with the task at hand. Make sure that you are using tools that are built for the size of the task you are undertaking. If you think that your personal equipment is not up to standards, it is far better to wait and borrow the proper equipment, than to potentially injure yourself or others by pushing the equipment past its intended
As we said, safety should always be a top priority. Proper safety equipment such as goggles, gloves, and appropriate footwear will help to prevent unnecessary injury. Ensure that other people, children, and pets are clear of any area before you begin cutting trees or branches. Many emergency room visits that arise from storm clean-up efforts could be avoided with simple safety measures.
When the obvious and visible dangers are handled, it is time to consider unseen dangers. Super Storm Sandy resulted in many downed power lines. Even if your neighborhood is lacking power, assume that all power lines are live and charged and DO NOT approach or try to move them. Power can back-feed into lines from generators and other sources. Underground electrical cables for yard lighting, etc., also need to be taken into consideration. Make sure you are fully aware of any cables that might be under the ground before you dig in your yard. If needed you can contact your power and cable companies for this information.
Lastly, and possibly most difficult, try not to over-exert yourself. Emotions and adrenaline can run high in these situations, and over-working yourself in your clean up efforts can lead to additional exhaustion, stress, and even illness or injury due to lack of attention. Even if you want to get everything done remember, it’s better to rest and tackle it again when you’re up to it, than to push yourself to the point of not being able to work at all. You can’t get much accomplished from a hospital bed.