How to Clean Up After A Flood or Hurricane

A picture of a destroyed neighborhood after a natural disaster


Storms can wreak havoc on your home and property, leaving behind debris and damage that can be difficult to clean up. Whether you've experienced a severe thunderstorm, hurricane, or blizzard, the aftermath can be overwhelming. 

In this Sour Scoop, we'll provide you with a step-by-step guide on how to clean up after a storm, so you can get your home and property back to their pre-storm condition. From assessing the damage to clearing debris, we'll cover all the necessary steps to ensure a safe and thorough cleanup. So, whether you're dealing with fallen trees, flooding, or debris, read on to learn how to tackle the cleanup process and get back to normal as soon as possible.

Step-by-Step Storm Clean Up

Take in the Mess: The first step in any storm cleanup is to assess the damage. Take a walk around your property and look for any fallen trees, damage to your roof or siding, or flooding. Make note of any damage that needs immediate attention, such as broken windows or downed power lines, and contact the appropriate professionals.

Prioritize safety: Safety should be your top priority during storm cleanup. Make sure to wear appropriate protective gear, such as gloves, sturdy boots, and a hard hat. Avoid any areas that may be hazardous, such as areas with downed power lines or flooded streets.

Clear debris: Once you've assessed the damage and prioritized safety, the next step is to start clearing debris. This may include fallen branches, leaves, or other debris that has blown onto your property. Use a rake or leaf blower to gather debris into piles, and then dispose of it in your city's designated yard waste area.

Assess for Property Damage: After the debris has been cleared, it's important to assess any structural damage to your home or property. This may involve checking your roof for damage, inspecting your siding and windows, or assessing any damage to your foundation. If you notice any significant damage, contact a professional contractor or inspector.

Check gutters and downspouts: Check your gutters and downspouts for any debris that may have accumulated during the storm. Clear any blockages to prevent future water damage to your home.

Inspect your roof: Check your roof for any damage that may have occurred during the storm. Look for missing or damaged shingles, holes, or other signs of damage. If you're not comfortable inspecting your roof yourself, contact a professional roofer.

Check for water damage: Check your basement or crawl space for any signs of water damage. Look for standing water, dampness, or mold growth. If you find any signs of water damage, contact a professional water damage restoration company. Use a disinfectant to clean surfaces and allow them to dry completely. Use a sump pump, fans, or dehumidifier to dry out wet areas and prevent moisture buildup.

Document the damage: It's important to document any damage for insurance purposes. Take photos or videos of the damage to your property, and keep a detailed list of any items that were damaged or destroyed.

Preventing Future Damages

As the frequency and severity of storms continue to increase, it's more important than ever to take steps to protect your home and prevent future storm damage. Fortunately, there are a number of simple and effective strategies you can use to safeguard your property and keep your family safe during extreme weather events.

One of the most effective ways to prevent future storm damage is to install storm shutters on your windows. These shutters are designed to withstand high winds, hail, and debris, and can help protect your home from damage caused by flying objects. In addition to storm shutters, you may also want to consider reinforcing your roof with hurricane straps or other wind-resistant materials. This can help prevent the roof from being torn off during a storm, which can cause extensive damage to your home's interior.

Regular home maintenance is another important factor in preventing storm damage. By cleaning your gutters regularly, you can help prevent water from backing up and causing damage to your roof and walls. Trimming trees and shrubs around your home can also help reduce the risk of branches falling and causing damage during a storm. Additionally, it's important to inspect your roof and exterior walls for any signs of damage, such as loose or missing shingles or cracks in the foundation. Catching and repairing these issues early can help prevent them from becoming more serious during a storm.

If you live in areas prone to flooding, such as the Carolinas or Florida, it's important to take additional precautions to protect your home. Elevating your home above flood level, installing flood vents, and sealing your foundation can all help prevent water damage during a storm. You may also want to consider installing a sump pump or backflow valve to prevent water from entering your basement or crawl space.

By taking these steps to prevent future storm damage, you can help protect your home and keep your family safe during extreme weather events. Whether you're installing storm shutters, trimming trees, or simply cleaning your gutters, every little bit helps when it comes to preparing for a storm. So take action now to safeguard your home and ensure that you're ready for whatever nature may throw your way.

Disposal of Yard Waste

It's important to note that it's the responsibility of the homeowner or renter to ensure that the debris is disposed of properly and in accordance with local regulations. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) suggests checking with local authorities for information on proper disposal methods and regulations for debris resulting from a natural disaster.

However, it's important to keep in mind that storm clean-up can be a hazardous process, and there are a number of risks and hazards that you should be aware of when disposing of waste.

Here's a detailed list of hazards that might happen during storm clean-up and waste disposal:

  • Sharp objects: Broken glass, twisted metal, and other sharp objects can easily cause cuts and injuries. Be sure to wear gloves and protective clothing when handling debris, and use caution when handling objects that might be sharp or jagged.

  • Electrical hazards: Downed power lines or damaged electrical systems can create a serious risk of electrocution. If you come across any electrical wires or systems during clean-up, stay away from them and contact your utility company immediately.

  • Chemical hazards: Hazardous materials, such as gasoline, pesticides, and cleaning chemicals, can be released during storm damage. Avoid exposure to these materials, as they can be dangerous to your health. If you need to dispose of chemicals, follow proper disposal protocols and contact your local hazardous waste facility.

  • Mold and mildew: Water damage from storms can create a favorable environment for mold and mildew growth. Exposure to mold and mildew can cause respiratory problems, allergic reactions, and other health issues. Wear protective gear such as gloves and masks when cleaning up after a storm, especially in areas that are damp or water-damaged.

  • Heavy lifting: Debris from storms can be heavy and difficult to move. Be careful when lifting heavy objects, as they can cause back injuries and other types of strain.

  • Structural hazards: Storm damage can weaken structures, including walls, roofs, and floors. Be cautious when moving debris around, and avoid working in areas where structures are unstable.

  • Slip and fall hazards: Wet or uneven surfaces can create a risk of slips, trips, and falls. Wear appropriate footwear and be cautious when walking on wet surfaces.

  • Wildlife hazards: Storm damage can disrupt the habitats of wildlife, such as snakes and rodents. Be aware of the potential for wildlife to be present during clean-up and take appropriate precautions.

Dumpsters can be a crucial tool in the aftermath of a natural disaster when communities need to clean up debris quickly and efficiently. When homes and buildings are damaged or destroyed, they often leave behind piles of rubble, broken furniture, and other materials that need to be disposed of. Using dumpsters to collect and haul away this debris can make the process more manageable, safer, and more hygienic for everyone involved. Additionally, dumpsters can help prevent the spread of disease by containing hazardous waste such as medical supplies, spoiled food, and other materials that can pose a health risk to local communities. 


Natural disasters can leave behind a trail of destruction that can be challenging to navigate. Storms, in particular, can cause significant damage to homes and property, leaving behind a significant amount of debris that needs to be cleaned up. However, using tools such as dumpsters can help communities effectively manage the debris and get back on their feet faster. While the aftermath of a natural disaster can be overwhelming, it's important to remember that with the right tools, resources, and support, we can work together to rebuild and recover.

At Sourgum Waste, we pride ourselves on providing exceptional waste management services to our customers. We understand that unexpected events, such as storms, can create a significant amount of debris that needs to be properly disposed of.

That's why we want to remind you that Sourgum Waste is here to assist you with all of your dumpster needs, including storm clean-up. Our team is equipped to handle large volumes of waste and debris, ensuring that your property is cleared efficiently, effectively, and sustainably.

Still have questions about our dumpster rental process for storm clean-up? Check out our page on Storm Clean Up Dumpster Rentals to learn more.

Looking for environmentally friendly waste services?

Sourgum Waste not only provides you with the best service at the best price, but we are also committed to sustainability. We divert waste from landfills whenever possible and plant a tree for every order placed through us.

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