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Cleaning Up and Separating Debris after Imelda

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Status Update from the Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management:

Montgomery County Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management is still assessing damages across the county. At this time, we are not able to guarantee that Montgomery County will be able to pick up your debris. However, in the event that we are able to assist with this, separating your debris properly will ensure, safe, fast and effective removal.

In the meantime, the first steps you need to take are:

· If your home has suffered damage, call your insurance agent to file a claim.
· Check for structural damage before re-entering your home to avoid being trapped in a building collapse.
· Take photos of any floodwater in your home and save any damaged personal property.
· Make a list of damaged or lost items and include their purchase date and value with receipts, and place with the inventory you took prior to the flood. Some damaged items may require disposal, so keep photographs of these items.
· Save all receipts from purchases made in your recovery efforts.

Things to remember when cleaning up debris:

· Wear proper personal protective equipment (gloves, goggles, boots)
· When cleaning flooded areas wash hands often with soap and water or hand sanitizer
· Throw away items that cannot be easily disinfected
· Discard any food that has been exposed to flood water
· Seek immediate attention if you become ill or injured


What to do with debris when cleaning up your flooded home:

Residents should separate items into 6 different piles in the county right-of-way, do not bag debris.
· Normal household trash – to be picked up by your service provider. Any normal household trash may be bagged or put out in the restrictions per your trash pickup.
· Vegetative debris
· Construction/demolition debris
· White goods (refrigerators, ranges, water heaters, freezers, unit air conditioners, washing machines, clothes dryers, and other similar domestic and commercial large appliances)
· E-waste (electronics)
· Household hazardous waste
· Residents should not place debris directly under power lines.

Residents should make sure debris piles are easily accessible and are not next to or leaning against trees, meters, mailboxes, water hydrants or anything else that could be damaged during the collection process.

· Residents should not allow debris to block drainage ditch.

· Residents should keep vehicles clear of debris.

In the last 4 years, we have become no stranger to these type of disasters. As always, Montgomery County will persevere and we are going to come out of this one even stronger than before. Every disaster we survive together only brings us closer, and sharpens us for the next.

Source: Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management