Clean Up Tips from FEMA

  • Always wear protective clothing including long-sleeved shirts, long pants, rubber or plastic gloves and waterproof boots or shoes.
  • Before entering your home, look outside for damaged power lines, gas lines and other exterior damage.
  • Beware of snakes, insects, and other animals that may be on your property or in your home.
  • Take photos of your damage before you begin clean up and save repair receipts.
  • Your home may be contaminated with mold, which raises the health risk for those with asthma, allergies and breathing conditions. Refer to the Center for Disease Control for more info on mold remediation.
  • Open doors and windows so your house can air out before spending any length of time inside.
  • Turn off main electrical power and water systems and don’t use gas appliances until a professional can ensure they are safe.
  • Check all ceilings and floors for signs of sagging or other potentially dangerous structural damage.
  • Throw out all foods, beverages and medicines exposed to flood waters or mud including canned goods and containers with food or liquid.
  • Also, throw out any items that absorb water and cannot be cleaned or disinfected (mattresses, carpeting, stuffed animals, etc.).
  • Remove all drywall and insulation that has been in contact with flood waters.
  • Clean all hard surfaces (flooring, countertops, appliances, sinks, etc.) thoroughly with hot water and soap or detergent.
  • For more clean up tips, visit the page on Returning Home and the CDC’s page on how to Clean Up Safely After a Disaster

FEMA & Other Government Resources

A wealth of resources can be found on the Disasters and Emergencies page:

  • Safety tips for returning to your area and safely inspecting damage in your home
  • Address rumors circulating in the wake of a disaster and get accurate information
  • How to replace lost or destroyed vital records
  • Information on financial assistance for disaster relief
  • How to help others affected by a disaster

Download the FEMA Mobile App to receive alerts from the National Weather Service, get safety and survival tips, customize your emergency checklist, find your local shelter, and upload your disaster photos to help first responders.

Visit for other helpful links and information.

Further Reading

Check out more articles related to this topic:

Is It Covered? Named Storm

Reduce Your Risk of Mold After a Flood

Do You Know the Difference Between Flood, Water Damage & Sewer Back-Up”