A reader writes: “I am a janitor that got caught up in the hurricane. What do I do?”

First of all, my thoughts and prayers go out for everyone who was impacted by the two category 5 hurricanes that hit the Houston, Texas and Florida areas with such devastating results. I know that various federal, state and non-profit agencies are working overtime to reach everyone with the goal of getting back to normalcy as soon as possible. Some areas may recover sooner than others, but the entire recovery process may take years.

In the meantime, you need to prioritize your response.

First, take care of your family and property. Due to your location and the flood waters, you may have to deal with mold and mildew issues in the days ahead. This is a serious issue since some people (especially the very young and aged) can be susceptible to mold spores that will grow rapidly due to the dampness and warm climate. Any carpeting that was soaked needs to be pulled up and either totally dried and possibly replaced.

Inspect all walls (especially sheetrock) that were damaged by flooding. You should be able to easily tell how far the water line came up. If so, use a marker to note the height since, in many cases, it can be cut out and patched. When it is removed, inspect carefully behind the wall and treat for mold accordingly before replacing the panels. Remember that sunlight and dry air can help to reduce the spread of mold and mildew in many cases.

Finally, be very careful as to using bleach indiscriminately since it can be toxic. Reach out to disaster restoration expects who can guide you in how to proceed.

Your comments and feedback are always appreciated. I hope to hear from you soon. Until then, keep it clean...

Mickey Crowe has been involved in the industry for over 35 years. He is a trainer, speaker and consultant. You can reach Mickey at 678-314-2171 or CTCG50@comcast.net.