How To Clean The Yard After A Hurricane

Details the potential dangers that exist in your yard after a hurricane and how to handle them.

Cleaning your yard after the destructive force of a hurricane is no simple feat. The gale force winds and heavy rains generally associated with hurricanes has been known to carry debris several miles from its original location before depositing it elsewhere. While some items swept away by the wind and water are relatively intact, most are broken apart into several pieces, creating a potentially hazardous situation for anyone who encounters the strewn debris. Even the seemingly easy task of cleaning one's yard after a hurricane must be approached with extreme caution. After all, generally anything can and will be found in your yard following one of the most destructive forces of nature.

Before undertaking the task of cleaning your yard after a hurricane, certain protective measures must be employed. Since you don't know what you might encounter in your own yard, you should don a good strong work boot or closed shoe and cover your hands with extra heavy duty gloves. It is also best if you wear long pants and a long sleeved shirt for extra protection against getting cut or scraped on debris as well as to guard against the increase in mosquitoes that usually occurs wherever there is a lot of standing water.

Once you have chosen appropriate clothing to wear, you must assess if there are any apparent hazards that need to be handled by a professional before you begin the task of cleaning your yard. Obvious hazards include downed power lines and live wires that may be present after a hurricane. If there are power lines laying in your yard, DO NOT attempt to remove them yourself. Call your local power service immediately as the downed lines represent a highly dangerous threat to anyone who comes into contact with them. Other potential dangers include dead animals and large pieces of building construction in danger of collapsing.



Since your yard is likely littered with a wide variety of debris, it is best to sort through the mess, making separate piles for what can be salvaged and what has been reduced to mere trash. Keepsakes belonging to other families may be found in your yard and every effort should be made to return the item to its rightful owner. Large chunks of broken and scattered debris can be piled into a large heap to be hauled away at a later time, while smaller pieces of debris can be collected in a heavy duty trash bag and disposed of sooner. It is extremely important that you take extra care when handling broken shards of glass, nails, and other sharp pieces of debris in order to minimize your chances of receiving an injury.

Once the painstaking task of clearing your yard of all the obvious debris has been completed, it is a good idea to rake through the grass in order to make sure no hidden debris remains that may present a hazard when you mow your lawn. Carefully rake in even strokes in order to make sure that all of the ground has been covered and no unseen dangers remain.

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