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Fact Sheet: Don’t Wait. Clean Up Debris as Soon as Possible

Release date: 
September 21, 2017
Release Number: 

If your home was flooded after Hurricane Harvey, you should clean up as soon as possible. Do not wait for a flood insurance adjuster or FEMA home inspector to come to your home.

More than 87,000 flood insurance claims have been filed with the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). More than 3,000 insurance adjusters are conducting inspections of those homes. This process takes time. The NFIP advises policyholders to proceed with cleanup once it is safe to re-enter the structure.

  • Take photos or videos of the outside and inside of the building, including damaged personal property, and label them by room before you remove anything.
  • For items like washers and dryers, hot water heaters, kitchen appliances, TVs and computers, photograph the make, model and serial number.
  • For your building items, keep samples of carpet, flooring, wallpaper, drapes, etc.
  • For personal property items, separate the damaged from undamaged items for the adjuster’s inspection.
  • After taking photos, immediately throw away flooded items that pose a health risk after coming into contact with flood water, such as perishable food, clothing, cushions and pillows.

If you applied to FEMA for disaster assistance, the agency may send an inspector to your home. FEMA has deployed more than 2,000 inspectors to Texas and, because of the large number of damaged homes, it may take up to 30 days for an inspector to contact you to schedule an inspection.

Don’t wait to clean up. Start repairs to make your home safe and livable again.

If you need help cleaning up your flood-damaged home, call 844-965-1386. In support of Texas 2-1-1, the Cleanup Assistance Helpline is helping connect Texas survivors with muck-and-gut cleaning inside homes. This is not for yard cleanup.

Last Updated: 
January 3, 2018 - 11:59