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Disaster Cleanup

Injury or illness can occur when cleaning up your business following a disaster. Disasters result in obvious hazards such as downed power lines and contaminated waters, and hidden dangers such as molds and toxins. Taking the proper cleanup precautions means you can get back to business sooner. The following resources provide tips and advice to help you get safely back on your feet.

General Resources

These resources from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) provide general guidance and information on specific cleanup issues:

Offers fact sheets, videos and podcasts covering a number of topics relevant to small business owners.

Gives information on how to protect you and others from getting sick as a result from a disaster.

Provides advice on how to prevent injury when cleaning up after a disaster.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has published information on cleanup hazards during natural disaster recoveries and workers' safety following hurricanes.

Specific Cleanup and Safety Issues

In addition to the CDC and OSHA, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) help businesses deal with specific cleanup concerns.

Buildings and Equipment

Lists documents to help business owners deal with workplace and facility cleanup after a disaster.

Flooding and Mold

Chemical and Oil Spills, Hazardous Wastes and Pesticides

If you encounter hazardous material spills or discharges, follow these important steps:

  • Immediately Call the National Response Center 1-800-424-8802 (open 24 hours a day, every day). For those without 800 access, call 202-267-2675.

  • Contact the National Pesticide Information Center: 1-800-858-7378. For contacts at government, states and other organizations, go to this link: Pesticide contacts.

  • Report incidences by following the steps outlined in how to report environmental emergencies and spills.

The CDC's Chemical Hazards Guide provides advice for protecting yourself from chemicals released during a natural disaster.