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The Home Depot

Post-Hurricane Yard Clean-Up Tips

Pro Referral > Home Guides > Handyman > Post-Hurricane Yard Clean-Up Tips
Post-Hurricane Yard Clean-Up Tips

When Mother Nature blows through with a hurricane, your first priorities will involve the safety of your family. Depending on the severity of the storm, you may be forced to evacuate to safety until the storm passes. If you do stay to weather the storm, you’ll need provisions to last during the upheaval of the storm.


Preparing your home will be another priority before the storm hits, to ensure that your property receives minimal damage. After the storm ends, surveying the damage and the mess will be another unpleasant situation. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provides information about emergency preparedness in response to hurricanes. It’s imperative that you proceed carefully as you clean up from a major storm.


Use 10 post-hurricane yard clean-up tips to ensure that you stay safe and put your property back to rights again.

  1. 1.Survey the Damage

    Take care as you survey the damage to your property. Examine the outside of your home for structural damage. You may find shingles missing, damaged siding and broken windows. Check for tree and shrubbery damage and damage to outdoor structures such as swing sets and sheds. Make notes about the damage you find.

  3. 2.Proceed Cautiously

    Although you may be impatient and eager to get on with clean up and repair work, take the time you need to assess the damage and determine how you will proceed. You may discover broken glass and nails amongst the debris, so wear gloves and protective clothing. Wear goggles or safety glasses as you work outdoors to protect your eyes. Keep children and pets away from the clean-up areas.

  4. 3.Bagging Debris

    As you collect the debris caused by the hurricane, make separate piles to ensure the organized disposal of your debris. Make a pile of household garbage, construction debris and yard debris. The household garbage will go out with regular garbage collection. The construction debris will need special collection by authorities. The yard debris will also require special collection by your local municipality. If you have hazardous waste, keep it separated from everything and call local authorities to find out how to dispose of these items.

  5. 4.No Burning

    Never burn waste after a hurricane due to risk of fire and explosion. There may be gas leaks lurking virtually anywhere. If you light a match to burn yard waste, for example, you may cause a serious explosion. Instead, collect all debris for disposal and either wait to burn until a no-burn ordinance lifts or dispose of it in another way.

  7. 5.Check your Homeowners Policy

    Your homeowner’s policy should cover a significant amount of damage and clean-up necessary after a hurricane. Check your policy to learn about coverage and filing requirements. As you begin to incur expenses connected with the hurricane and cleaning up, save all receipts for possible reimbursement. You may even be able to receive reimbursement for food and temporary lodging under your homeowner’s policy.

  8. 6.Get Estimates

    When your demolition and clean-up tasks are significant, you may need to hire experts to provide services. For example, downed trees and destroyed buildings will probably require the assistance of an expert cleaning crew. Resist the urge to hire the first company you speak with, however. Get at least three or four estimates from various companies to enable you to hire the best company at the most attractive price.

  9. 7.Check References

    Many unscrupulous companies target hurricane-hit areas and rip people off with substandard work at high prices. Before hiring anyone, check out a company’s background to ensure that no reports exist that involve the company. Check with the Better Business Bureau and local licensing agencies to learn more about companies you are considering hiring. Check references for companies as well – references should be a minimum of one year old to ensure that they are of the highest quality.

  10. 8.Work Slowly

    As difficult as the upheaval is and as badly as you just want to finish it to get back to a normal life, work slowly and steadily to clean up your yard after a hurricane. Working too quickly may cause you to make poor hiring decisions for a clean-up crew or it could lead to injury or further property damage. Have some patience with local authorities as well. If your community or area was especially hard-hit, local crews will be very busy providing assistance to everyone. In this situation, authorities will prioritize safety issues such as downed power lines and gas leaks. The cleaning up and hauling away of debris will usually wait until after workers complete all the work to restore safety.

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