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.
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
Cleaning and Sanitizing with Bleach After an Emergency
Instructs how to clean and sanitize your facilities using bleach.
Cleaning Flood Contaminated HVAC Systems: A Guide for Building Owners and Managers
Lists the steps to cleaning and remediation of HVAC Systems.
Dealing with Debris and Damaged Buildings
Provides EPA's precautions for handing and disposing of building materials.
Disposing of Debris and Removing Hazardous Waste
Gives information from FEMA on handling and disposing of hazardous debris and waste.
- OSHA Resources on Disaster Recovery Hazards
Lists documents to help business owners deal with workplace and facility cleanup after a disaster.
Flooding and Mold
After a Hurricane or Flood: Cleanup of Flood Water
Instructs how to protect yourself from diseases caused by flood water.
Flood Cleanup Fact Sheet
Gives OSHA tips and advice for safely cleaning up flood water.
Dealing with Mold After a Disaster
Provides CDC guide explaining the health effects of mold exposure, and how to prevent mold growth.
Mold Cleanup in Schools and Commercial Buildings
Supplies information for building managers, custodians and others who are responsible for commercial building and school maintenance.
Explains how mold can cause serious health problems, and gives instructions on how to deal with mold and eliminate it through moisture control.
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.