Tips for cleaning up a home after a major storm

Hurricane season ends November 30, and many people on the East Coast are still dealing with the cleanup from Hurricane Sandy. This storm devastated many cities and towns along the coast, and its high winds brought down many trees and branches that can be challenging to clean up.

A storm can be especially difficult if you’re in the process of moving. While you’ve spent plenty of time packing your belongings and notifying friends and family members about your upcoming relocation, a natural disaster can suddenly put everything on hold.

The recovery from a storm takes time, and you may need assistance to get rid of debris on your lawn before you relocate. Consider the following tips to clean up your yard and complete post-storm repairs.

1. Assess the damage
Thoroughly inspect your property’s interior and exterior to determine how your house has been affected by the storm. While the ground could be covered in branches and debris, pay more attention to the actual property damage, such as a dented exterior wall or a cracked foundation. Visit neighbors to see if they noticed damage to their properties, as this may give you a better idea about what to look for when assessing possible harm to your property.

Prioritize issues based on how they impact the health and safety of those living in a home. For example, a broken front window requires immediate attention, while a damaged dog house might be less critical. Estimate the costs of these expenses, put together a budget for repairs and develop a timeline to finish the renovations before you move.

2. Evaluate cleanup options
Depending on your insurance, you might be able to get reimbursed for damage caused to your property. Reimbursement could help you hire a professional cleanup crew to remove branches and fallen trees and may accelerate the moving process.

People who decide to clean up on their own should take extra precautions. Wear heavy-duty gloves and clothes you won’t worry about getting dirty or ripped. You can enlist help from friends and family, and should dedicate plenty of time to complete a clean up.

3. Take future precautions
A storm can cause a significant amount of damage in a short period of time, and those who are well prepared can stay safe during this occurrence.

Keep the storm’s impact in mind when you unpack your belongings at your new residence. You might place certain lawn ornaments outside, but if you know a storm is approaching, remove these belongings and put them inside – doing so could help you avoid damaging your home and your neighbors’.