After a hurricane, you may find your church or ministry has sustained a considerable amount of damage. Before jumping in to clean up the mess, take steps to protect yourself and others from getting hurt. Investigate additional help that your church may be eligible to receive through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the American Red Cross, and other disaster relief organizations. Then, proceed with caution, asking professionals to handle jobs that are beyond the ability of your staff or volunteers.
Take steps to ensure the safety of yourself and other workers. Structural, electrical, or other hazards could still cause injury, especially if your building was flooded. Here are some task to complete before you start repairs or cleaning:
Once these steps have been performed and you determine the structure is safe, it’s time to start cleaning and repairing.
If your building is flooded, start by drying out the building. Taking measures to avoid further flooding also will help prevent further damage. Depending on how much your building is flooded, you may have to take several of these steps:
While drying your building, check for areas that could become—or already are—riddled with mold or mildew. Things that could get moldy include soaked wallboard, fiberglass insulation, cellulose insulation, and carpet. If any of these are muddy, they should be discarded.
After drying the building, the next step is to clean. If you find that you have no cleaning supplies, your local Red Cross chapter will usually distribute cleanup kits after a disaster. These kits have the necessities (brooms, mops, buckets, gloves, cleaner, etc.) and can provide for any cleaning job you have when used properly.
You may feel overwhelmed by the amount of cleaning that is needed, so work through one room at a time. The American Red Cross suggests that when cleaning you use a “two bucket” approach. Use one bucket for cleaner, and the other for rinse water. This will extend the use of your cleaner by keeping out dirty rinse water.
During recovery, think about what you can do to prepare your ministry for another disaster. The American Red Cross suggests that you implement any flood-proofing steps while you rebuild to reduce the overall cost and will help prevent your building from taking considerable damage again.
For more information, check out the American Red Cross’s article, Repairing Your Flooded Home. Though the article is flood-specific, it can be applied to repairing your ministry buildings after a hurricane. This Red Cross checklist provides a quick overview.
Thank you for your interest in Brotherhood Mutual. We appreciate the opportunity to provide your church or other ministry with an insurance quote and will reply to your request as soon as possible.
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