Richmond, VA - Emergency response officials say don't wait for a Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) inspector to visit before you start cleaning up damage from Hurricane Isabel. You can begin cleaning up immediately by separating hazardous waste from other debris before disposal. Hazardous substances often found in the home include:
- Paints, thinners and turpentine, furniture strippers, wood preservatives, stains and finishes
- Pesticides, insecticides, flea collars and sprays, roach and ant killers, rat and mouse poisons and herbicides
- Oven, toilet, drain, rug and upholstery cleaners
- Bleaches, disinfectants, mothballs, ammonia-based and powdered cleansers
- Floor and furniture polish
- Household and automobile batteries
- Automotive products, including antifreeze, transmission and brake fluids and motor oil.
Normal household trash will be picked up and disposed of as usual, although the schedules may be delayed. Citizens should make every effort to separate woody debris (tree limbs, brush, etc.), building debris and household hazardous materials from normal trash for curbside pick-up.
Many localities will have designated areas that accept the hazardous household waste. Please follow instructions from local government and emergency officials regarding disposal of all wastes.
On March 1, 2003, FEMA became part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. FEMA's continuing mission within the new department is to lead the effort to prepare the nation for all hazards and effectively manage federal response and recovery efforts following any national incident. FEMA also initiates proactive mitigation activities, trains first responders, and manages Citizen Corps, the National Flood Insurance Program and the U.S. Fire Administration.