As floodwaters recede, property owners in the Quad Cities will start the long cleanup process. Cleaning up after a flood isn’t as simple as a quick mop with a nice smelling floor cleaner. The Department of Homeland Security has these tips for cleaning up thoroughly and safely after a flood.

  • Wear heavy work gloves, protective clothing and boots during cleanup.
  • Wear a face mask if mold or similar materials are present. People with asthma or other lung issues should not clean up near mold.
  • Children should not help with cleanup. If they’re eager to participate, they can help prepare snacks for workers, entertain younger children, etc.
  • Be on alert for snakes, reptiles and other animals that may have entered your home.
  • Use generators, power tools and other gas powered machinery outside only, away from windows.

The Red Cross has these suggestions for dealing with the aftermath of floods.

  • Throw out food that got wet or warm. When in doubt, throw it out!
  • Keep wet areas well ventilated. Throw out wet materials that can’t be repaired or dried.
  • Work with a partner and take frequent breaks.

The Illinois Department of Public Health recommends scrubbing and washing all surfaces that were exposed to flood water, including clothes, using warm water and soap. They recommend washing surfaces with warm, soapy water and disinfecting them with a bleach and water solution of no more than one cup of bleach per gallon of water. Never mix ammonia and bleach because the vapors are hazardous. Click here for more information on cleaning up after a flood.

For information on filing a flood insurance claim from FEMA, click here. For information on applying for disaster assistance, click here.