Columbia, S.C. – Crews clearing roads of debris and sand from Tropical Storm Idalia are now reporting most areas are accessible to residents, although a few roads may still be closed for safety concerns. Anyone who experienced damage to their property due to the storm should begin recovery and cleanup as soon as possible. Before beginning disaster recovery, property owners and renters should always file a claim with their insurance companies.
Always make safety your top priority when cleaning up after a hurricane. Follow these precautions:
Document all damage for your insurance claim. Take pictures and save receipts.
Consult your local waste management guidelines for trash and debris disposal options. Call 800-451-1954 for free help with debris cleanup and removal. Crisis Cleanup is a non-profit organization coordinating local volunteers to help with storm recovery efforts.
Remove and discard items that cannot be washed or disinfected.
Most common household cleaning supplies can be used. Follow the directions listed on the label.
Thoroughly clean all hard surfaces that could have come into contact with storm surge or floodwaters.
Stay away from dangling power lines. Be careful when clearing fallen trees, as they may have wires tangled in them.
Wear sturdy shoes or boots, protective eyewear, a helmet, and work gloves to protect yourself from broken glass, loose nails, shards of metal and other debris that could injure you.
Keep a first aid kit close by for minor cuts and scrapes. Seek medical attention for any serious injury.
To find a professional licensed contractor, visit the South Carolina Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation at llr.sc.gov and click “LICENSEE LOOKUP.”
State and local agencies continue to assess the full extent of damages caused by Tropical Storm Idalia. Residents can help with these efforts by reporting any damages to their property. Use the Damage Assessment tool in the SC Emergency Manager mobile app to submit a report to SCEMD.