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Recovering from the effects of a natural disaster

It’s a fact of life: natural disasters happen.

If you’ve been caught up in one – such as the flooding of the Somerset levels and the Thames valley in the winter of 2013/14 – then you’ll know that things you’re powerless to prevent can and do happen. Moreover, they adversely affect your buildings, cars, other possessions, the natural landscape and much more. The adverse effects of the winter of 2013/14 attracted lots of media coverage but, each year in the UK, thousands of people are affected by floods and windstorms – and their consequences.

Natural disasters cost insurance companies and the Government billions of pounds. Typically, this leads insurers to raise their rates to their customers. Some homeowners whose houses are situated on floodplains discover that, as a result of a natural disaster, their properties have become uninsurable.

Clearing up after a natural disaster tends to involve lots of black plastic bags, lots of skips, lots of people, lots of energy and time. It can feel like a devastating and extensive, as well as an expensive, operation.

The damage to properties means that furniture, carpets and electric goods - once luxury household items – along with items which are of intense sentimental value, are now just a heap of rubbish.

When you begin to clean up and repair your home, it’s important to follow approved health and safety procedures.

You might need to engage a surveyor to assess the outside structure of your house and decide how safe it is for you and others to enter. If your home requires structural repairs, seek a registered building contractor with reliable references. There will always be unscrupulous contractors who’re anxious to profit from vulnerable homeowners desperate to repair their homes. So always carry out careful research into finding a reputable and professional contractor – whatever the job you want doing.

Electricity and gas systems should be turned off before entering a house for the first time after it has experienced a natural disaster. You should wear protective clothing and gloves in order to prevent contracting illnesses that could be caused by contaminated water or debris. Any water used for drinking, cooking and washing should be purified first - and utensils should be sterilised thoroughly before use.

The good news is that you won’t have to get rid of everything in a flood-damaged house. You can scrub walls with a water solution of bleach or detergent to get them clean again. Wooden furniture should be hosed off outdoors and left to dry naturally out of direct sunlight. Electrical appliances should be tilted allow any water to be drained out. Then the appliance should be taken apart, if possible, to let it dry off – before being reassembled.

However, you’ll need to get rid of all:

  • Mattresses that have been soaked in water

  • Sheet flooring that has had water seep underneath it.

  • Carpets – although you can clean these yourself by scrubbing with a water solution of bleach and detergents

  • Anything and everything else that’s damaged beyond repair

It’s a disheartening and depressing job – but you can make your task easier by calling Waste King to help you dispose of everything that has to go.

Our trained and licenced operatives will take away not only all of the waste you want removing but also much of the pressure and hassle involved with sorting, loading and removing these materials.

Coping with a natural disaster and its aftermath is not a pleasant experience – but Waste King’s calm, competent, caring yet professional approach can go a long way to helping you cope – and regain your equilibrium as quickly as possible.

To find out how we can help you, contact us on:

Freephone: 0800 141 2778 or, from a mobile, call 01442 210034.

You can also email us at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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