Posted: 5:49 am Saturday, September 3rd, 2016

Cleaning Up After Hermine 

By Ann Kelly

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Now that we’ve had a moment to breathe as Hermine has left Florida and headed up the East Coast, it’s time to take care of the business of cleanup.

florida floodSAFETY FIRST – I’ve been taught when in doubt, don’t.  There are simple things you can do to protect yourself from issues like what to do when the power goes out, then comes back on from Suzanne Grant at Duke Energy. That’s just one issue.  After a natural disaster like a hurricane we’ll need to know how to clean up a house that might have been flooded and so much more. The CDC has information that’s good to keep on hand. I especially liked the information how to save treasured family mementos.

SANDBAGS –   What to do with all those used sandbags that can be highly contaminated with what was floating around? Check here for good safety advice and please share with your friends and neighbors.

cleanjupSTORM DEBRIS – Since I came home to a yard full of twigs and branches, getting that cleaned up and bagged was a priority in case of another storm that could throw it around and cause more damage.  Each county or city may schedule additional days for pick up, as may your private contractors. But for so many it’s a lot more than just a few branches and twigs. Disaster cleanup presents special problems so keep safety and health in mind first.

CONTRACTORS – Unfortunately there are those that would take advantage of your situation, and scams ran rampant. Make sure you’re working with a licensed contractor for repairs. The Better Business Bureau has a storm chaser scam “Red Flag” tip list that can help you from falling for those scams and save a lot of money and heartache down the line.

turtleIt’s still no day at the beach even though the storm has passed. In Pinellas County, Sand Key Park is closed until further notice. The Department of Health in Pinellas County has also issued a health advisory for Sand Key Park, Indian Rocks Beach and Redington Shores Beach Access parks. Another victim of the storm are the sea turtle nests. Out partners at in Sarasota. Remember it’s a crime to disturb those nests but if you do see a problem make a call to Florida Fish and Wildlife.

For more help and information keep the Dove Hurricane Guide handy.