Hurricane Recovery First Response

As we have recently witnessed, hurricanes are capable of causing devastating damage to communities. Texas and Louisiana have experienced the brunt of Hurricane Harvey, resulting in the worst flooding the United States has ever seen. The constant deluge of wind and rain pounded the areas for days, and the destruction is heart-wrenching. Authorities say that recovery efforts will last for years to come. During such a widespread event it seems difficult to know where to begin the hurricane recovery first response.

Proceed with Caution

It is important that responders are aware of challenges and dangers such as downed power lines and trees, debris, and standing water. They need be careful when performing even the simplest tasks. Power interruptions and high water have resulted in dangerous conditions in such facilities as chemical plants and oil refineries. Premises that utilize natural gas are being warned of the potential for explosions. Convenient stores and facilities that employ under ground fuel tanks also need to take heed as fuel phase separation occurs.

Floodwater Safety

As the waters begin to recede, especially in Houston, residents and business owners will be coming back to their neighborhoods. There are many concerns about floodwater safety.

Limit contact with floodwater because it may have high levels of raw sewage or other hazardous substances. Exposure symptoms may include upset stomach, intestinal problems, headache and other flu-like issues.

Do not turn on household well pumps, due to the risk of electrical shock. And, do not drink or wash with well water until it passes safety testing.

Flooding causes underground fuel tanks to experience fuel phase separation. When phase separation occurs, three separate layers consist of an upper layer of gasoline with a milky layer of Ethanol, water below it, and then a third layer of just water at the bottom. Both homeowners and businesses must be aware that this fuel is unusable until properly treated.

It is recommended that you not use a septic tank system until water in the soil absorption field is lower than the water around the structure. Proceed with caution regarding chemical treatment.

How to Handle Debris

Disasters can generate tons of debris, including building rubble, soil and sediments, green waste (trees and shrubs), personal property, ash, and charred wood. Burying or burning debris releases toxic chemicals and fumes into the atmosphere or ground and therefore is not an acceptable option. Coordinated efforts among public, private, and nonprofit partners are crucial to successful implementation of recovery plans.

Clean Fuels Associates is dedicated to doing all we that can to assist government agencies, plus the residents and business owners of Texas and Louisiana. Our team vows to support everyone throughout hurricane recovery first response and beyond. We have made it our mission to help the community with its immediate and long-term recuperation efforts.