It’s not too early to begin cleaning up from Louisiana’s severe storms and floods that began Aug. 11.
Flood-damaged items like carpeting, bedding, furniture and other household items can be serious health hazards as well as eyesores. Here are some tips to dispose of these items safely and jumpstart your recovery:
File an Insurance Claim then Register with FEMA
Contact your insurance company and file a claim. Get your company’s contact information online at the Louisiana Department of Insurance: www.ldi.la.gov/onlineservices/ActiveCompanySearch.
If you have flood insurance questions call 800-621-3362 Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and select option 2. Call center staff are available to assist with information regarding your policy, offer technical flood guidance to aid in recovery and answer other flood insurance questions. You can be transferred to your insurance carrier for additional assistance if you have further questions.
Register for federal disaster assistance. If you had severe storm or flood damage in Acadia, Ascension, Avoyelles, East Baton Rouge, East Feliciana, Evangeline, Iberia, Iberville, Jefferson Davis, Lafayette, Livingston, Point Coupee, St. Helena, St. Landry, St. Martin, St. Tammany, Tangipahoa, Vermilion, Washington and West Feliciana parishes you may apply for FEMA help online at DisasterAssistance.gov or by calling 800-621-3362. Lines are open every day from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. Survivors who use TTY may call 800-462-7585.
Start Cleaning Up Now
Mold may be a serious health risk so don’t wait for a visit from FEMA or your insurance company before you start cleaning up. FEMA inspectors and insurance claims adjusters will still be able to verify flood damage.
Because mold may be a serious health risk, it’s important to remove flood-damaged valuables from your home. Take lots of pictures before your insurance adjuster visits.
Be sure to consult with your local officials for instructions before setting out debris. If you don’t have local emergency management contact information, it can be found online at gohsep.la.gov/about/parishpa.
Place debris curbside. Debris cannot be collected on private property.
Do not prop up debris against trees and utility poles or place in the vicinity of fire hydrants and utility boxes. That makes it more difficult for cleanup crews to collect.
Debris should be separated into the following six categories:
Household garbage such as discarded food, packaging and papers.
Construction debris such as building materials, carpeting, furniture and mattresses.
Vegetation debris such as tree branches and leaves.
Household hazardous waste such as batteries, paints and cleaning supplies.
White goods such as refrigerators, washers/dryers, water heaters and air conditioners.
Electro nics such as televisions, stereo equipment and computers.
Go online to this link to see a graphic that explains how to sort debris:
Other tips to speed up debris collection include:
Try to combine debris piles with your neighbors.
Secure refrigerator and freezer doors with duct tape.
Limit curbside household garbage to two 32-gallon containers or eight trash bags.
Get more and tips on flood clean up, repairing, and rebuilding at www.fema.gov/Louisiana-disaster-mitigation.