Thursday, April 28, 2011

RIA Offers Tips for After the Tornadoes and Storms

Editor Note:  Our prayers are with the families of Georgia and Alabama as reports of damage and loss of life continue to come in.  

/PRNewswire/ -- With such a large area of the U.S. affected by the tornadoes and storms pummeling the country, the Restoration Industry Association (RIA) has these tips for individuals now working on cleaning up in the aftermath:

* Notify your insurance company of the loss.
* Keep a notebook to track dates and times of conversations with individuals pertaining to your claim.
* Save receipts for meals, hotels, toiletries, replacement clothing, prescriptions, etc.
* Take photos of each room for future reference and insurance claims. This will provide a digital inventory of some visible contents.
* If electrical appliances, including televisions and computers are damaged by water, do not turn them back on when power is restored. This can result in electric shock and/or do further damage to the appliance. Electronics can often be cleaned & restored by knowledgeable contractors.
* Drywall, insulation and carpeting/padding impacted by rain will probably need to be removed and replaced.
* Beware of scammers offering restoration services. Check references and visit the Restoration Industry Association website – – to find a contractor.
* Homeowners with appropriate insurance coverage may hire any restoration company they choose and are not limited to only those suggested by an insurer.
* Wear heavy rubber gloves or work gloves and thick-soled shoes, preferably not tennis shoes since there can be exposed nails, glass and other sharp objects.
* Wash your hands frequently – especially before touching your face or eating.
* Avoid cross contamination – don't wear dirty clothes or shoes to the clean or undamaged part of a structure.
* Drink lots of water to stay hydrated.
* Don't use bleach to disinfect since it is corrosive and can react with other substances. Use household disinfectants.
* Open windows to ventilate the area. Open drawers and cabinets for interior drying, but don't force them open.
* Remove standing water from flat surfaces by sponging and blotting.
* Hard surfaces can be disinfected as well as some soft goods, depending on washability.

For clean up tips, information on hiring a contractor, and restoration & remediation in general, visit the RIA website at and click on the Consumer link.


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