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Rebuilding after the Storm

Rebuilding after the Storm

Spring has sprung. And with the seasonal changes, so comes the chance for more severe weather. Safety and recovery are of the utmost importance for your home or place of business, and recovering from a storm or natural disaster is usually a gradual process. If you can get help, knowing how to access it can make the process less stressful. Your first concern after a disaster should be your family’s health and safety, so you need consider any possible issues related to this area while you monitor your family’s health and well-being.
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What You Can Do to Recover from a Disaster

Here are some general guidelines on how you can recover from a storm or natural disaster, so you can get your life back to normal.

Help the Injured

Don’t try to move anyone who is seriously injured unless they’re in immediate danger of death or further injury. And if you need to move someone who is unconscious, you should first stabilize the neck and back. Then, you should call for help immediately. If the person isn’t breathing, you should carefully position him or her for artificial respiration, clear the airways, and perform mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. You can maintain body temperature with blankets, but make sure the victim doesn’t become overheated. You should never try to feed liquids to an unconscious person.

Take Care of Your Health

You should always be aware of exhaustion, and don’t try to drink too much at once. Make sure you set priorities, pace yourself, and get plenty of rest. Drink plenty of clean water and to eat well. You should also wear sturdy work boots and gloves while washing your hands thoroughly with soap and water when you’re working with debris.

Be Mindful of Safety

You should always be aware of any safety issues that have been created by a disaster. Look for any washed-out roads, as well as any contaminated buildings and water. You should also look for gas leaks, broken glass, damaged electrical wiring, and slippery floors. Make sure you inform local authorities about any issues related to health and safety, including the following:
  • Chemical spills.
  • Downed power lines.
  • Washed out roads.
  • Smoldering insulation.
  • Dead animals.
Taking these early steps can make the recovery process go more quickly.
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What to Do When Returning Home

Rebuilding after the Storm

Going back home after a storm or natural disaster can be both physically and mentally challenging, but the most important thing to remember is to exercise caution. Here are some general tips that can help you once you get back home:
  • Keep a battery-powered radio with you, so you can listen for emergency updates and news reports.
  • Use a battery-powered flashlight to inspect your home for damage. Just remember to turn it on outside before entering, because the battery may produce a spark that could ignite leaking gas.
  • Look out for animals, especially poisonous snakes. You can use a stick to poke through debris.
  • Use your phone only to report life-threatening emergencies.
  • Stay off the streets. If you need to go out, watch for fallen objects and downed electrical wires. You should also look out for weakened walls, bridges, roads, and sidewalks.
Carefully walk around the outside while looking for loose power lines, gas leaks, and structural damage. If you have any doubts about safety, have your home inspected by a qualified building inspector or structural engineer before going inside. Do not enter the property if any of the following applies:
  • You smell gas.
  • There are floodwaters remaining around the building.
  • Your home was damaged by fire and the authorities haven’t declared it safe to enter.
Once you go inside, there are certain things that you should and shouldn’t do. Cautiously enter the home and check for any damage, but watch out for loose boards and slippery floors. You should also look for any of the following things that might be inside your home:
  • Natural gas — If you smell gas or hear a hissing sound, open the windows and leave immediately. If you can, turn on the main gas valve from the outside. And call the gas company from a neighbor’s home. If you’re able to turn off the gas supply at the main valve, you will need a professional to turn it back on. Don’t smoke, use gas lanterns, or light candles and torches for lighting inside the home until you’re sure there is no leaking gas or there are no flammable materials present.
  • Sparks, broken, or frayed wires — Unless you’re wet, standing in water, or aren’t sure about safety, check your electrical system. And if it’s possible, turn off the electricity at the main fuse box or circuit breaker. If you don’t think it’s safe, leave the building and call for help. Don’t turn on the lights until you’re sure it’s safe to use. You may need to have a an electrician use construction tools to come in and inspect your wiring.
  • Roof, foundation, and chimney cracks — If it looks like the building may collapse, leave immediately.
  • Appliances — If you’re appliances are wet, turn off the electricity at the main fuse box or circuit breaker. Then, you should unplug them until they dry out. Have a professional check the appliances before you use them again, and have an electrician use construction tools to check your electrical system before turning the power back on.
  • Water and sewage system — If your pipes are damaged, turn off the main water valve. And check with local authorities before using any water, because it could be contaminated. Pump out any wells and have any water tested by the authorities before you drink it. Do not flush toilets until you know that sewage lines are intact.
  • Food and other supplies — Throw out any food or supplies that you think may have gotten contaminated or have come into contact with floodwater.
  • Your basement — If your basement has flooded, pump it out gradually (about a third of the water per day) to keep it from getting damaged. The walls could collapse and the floor may buckle if the basement is pumped out while the ground is waterlogged.
  • Open cabinets — Watch out for any objects that could fall.
  • Clean up household chemical spills — Disinfect any items that may have gotten contaminated by raw sewage, bacteria, or chemicals. You should also clean any items that are salvageable.
  • Call your insurance agent — Take pictures of any damage. You also want to keep good records of repair and cleaning costs.

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Disasters and life-threatening situations will exacerbate the unpredictable nature of wild animals. To protect yourself and your family, you should learn how to deal with wildlife. Here are some general guidelines that can help you:
  • Do not approach or try to help an injured or stranded animal. Call your local animal control or wildlife resource office.
  • Do not corner wild animals or try to rescue them. They will most likely feel threatened and may put themselves in danger by running off into floodwaters, fires, and other hazards.
  • Do not approach wild animals (such as snakes, opossums, and raccoons) that have taken refuge inside your home. They will often seek shelter from floodwaters in the upper levels of homes, and they have been known to stay there after the waters have receded. If you find an animal in this situation, open a window or give them access to another escape route. The animal will most likely leave on its own. Do not attempt to capture or handle the animal. And if it doesn’t leave, call your local animal control or wildlife resource office.
  • Do not try to move a dead animal, because it can pose a serious health risk. Contact your local emergency management office or health department for help and instructions.
If you’re bitten by an animal, seek medical attention immediately.

Finding Disaster Assistance

During the recovery process, you should pay attention to any local radio or television reports, as well as any other media sources for information about where to get emergency help (such as food, first aid, clothing, and financial assistance). Here is some general information about the kind of help that may be available.

Direct Assistance

Individuals and families can get help from a number of organizations (such as the American Red Cross and the Salvation Army). These organizations can provide, food, shelter, and supplies. They can even help with any cleanup efforts.

Federal Assistance

In more severe disasters, the federal government can be called in to help individuals and families with temporary housing, counseling for post-disaster trauma, low-interest loans and grants, as well as other types of assistance. The federal government also has programs that can help small businesses and farmers. Most federal assistance programs become available when the President declares a “Major Disaster” for the area that has been affected, which is often requested by the governor of the affected state. The Federal Emergency Management Association (FEMA) has information through the media and community outreach programs about federal assistance and how you can apply.

Construction Tools Needed to Clean Up and Rebuild

There are a number of contractor tools and supplies that can be used to clean up and rebuild after a storm or natural disaster. Some of them include but may not be limited to:
  • Inspection Equipment — These tools are used by people who need to locate and inspect underground sewer systems, so they can find certain problems (such as leaks, line breaks, blockages, or roots that have gone into pipes). Underground utility systems need to be inspected on a regular basis, but it only happens when there’s a problem. Many times, storm or sanitary sewer utility systems are inspected to find out how they were built, because the configuration of some systems is unknown due to missing plans or records of design changes.
  • Floor Blower Fans — These are great if you need a lot of moving air to clear out a workshop or need to cool a large space (such as a gym, garage, or warehouse).
  • Scaffolds and Ladders — These construction tools are good to have in case you need to access something that’s out of reach, which can come in handy in any kind of cleanup, renovation, or rebuilding project.
  • Steam Gauges — These permanent markers can be used to measure the water depths of rivers, streams, lakes, ponds, and swamps. They work well for anyone who needs to study the elevation of water levels and water flow. Some of them are numbered, while others are unnumbered (with number plates that are sold separately).
  • Dock Lights — These construction tools work great for warehouse doors, bays, or any place where light is directed onto a truck you need to unload or into the back of a tractor trailer that’s backed to a loading dock. These lights are adjustable and can be mounted on the wall or sides of a doorway.
  • Utility Work Lights — These tools can light up your work area, which can be an advantage in terms of safety (especially after dark). Portable work lights can have their own stand, can be mounted on a rolling stand, or can be clip-mounted. And all of them are good to have when the need arises.
  • Hand Trucks and Service Carts — These tools can be used to deliver printer paper or to unload a delivery truck. You can also find them in a number of styles and configurations.
  • Trimmers and Cutting Tools — If you need to cut and trim paper, film, or any other type of flat media, these tools are practically indispensable. They’re also great for cutting drawings, x-rays, photographs, and other media.
  • Wall Detection Devices — These construction tools can be used to measure and detect utilities inside the walls of structures, which can not only save time but can also avoid injury.
  • Hand Tools — These can include everything from hammers and screwdrivers to crowbars and files, which are useful for any kind of construction project.
If you’re looking for the best construction tools on the market, you can find what you need at Engineer Supply.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What kind of equipment do I need for construction work?

Rebuilding after the Storm

Construction workers use a variety of tools, which can vary widely (depending on the materials and supplies that are necessary to perform a particular task). Carpentry tools are going to be used on most construction jobs. But they also need tools that can be used for measuring, cutting, mixing, laying out foundation materials, and digging. After the job progresses to a certain point, more specialized contractor tools and supplies may be needed for building tasks that need to be completed as the building comes up.

What kind of tools are used by builders?

Builders use a variety of tools to do their work, which can include but may not be limited to:
  • Hammer and Nails — While they can come in all shapes and sizes, claw hammers are the most common. They’re good to have, because you can pound nails into wood with one end and remove them with the other.
  • Power Drill — Builders will need to drill a hole at some point (whether it’s a wooden frame, a sheet of metal, or a brick wall). So eventually, they will need a tool that’s designed to bore a hole into building materials. That’s where a power drill comes in handy.
  • Screwdriver and Screws — These construction tools are essential to any building project, and the two most common types are the Phillips and flathead screwdrivers.
  • Saw — Builders will most likely need to cut something at some point during a construction project, because it would be a miracle if they managed to find all their building materials cut to the exact length and angle they need.
  • Level and Tape Measure — Taking accurate measurements can keep you from wasting time or even losing your temper. That’s where a laser tape measure comes in handy. If you use them correctly, you’ll be able to avoid any unnecessary frustration.
If you need to find the best construction tools on the market, feel free to look at what we have at Engineer Supply.

What kind of tools are used by contractors?

Some of the construction tools used by contractors include but may not be limited to:
  • Hand Tools — Contractors need to use these tools (such as hammers, screwdrivers, and pliers) to perform a variety of tasks.
  • Trucks — To carry equipment and supplies from one place to another, contractors need to have different trucks.
  • Air Compressor — This tool is often used at job sites for air-powered nail guns, sanders, staplers, and spray guns.
  • Heavy-Duty Equipment — Contractors often have to lift and move heavy equipment that can’t be lifted by humans. In these cases, they need equipment (such as cranes, bulldozers, and excavators) that can move these massive items.
Engineer Supply has the best construction tools on the market, so feel free to look at what we have in stock.

Can homeowners keep contractor tools?

If a contractor has left equipment on your property, it can become a major headache. Fortunately, there are a few options that can help you deal with this situation. You can talk to the contractor, take this person to court, or even sell the equipment.

Where can I buy the best construction tools?

If you’re looking for one of the best places to buy contractor tools and supplies, you can find what you need at Engineer Supply. We have a variety of products from some of the best manufacturers in the industry. Feel free to look at what we have in stock, so you can find a tool that will meet your specific needs.
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