Salvaging is part of life after Tornadoes and hurricanes plus floods. Sometimes many are able to salvage quite a bit but yet it isn’t always the case. Tornadoes have a tendency to strew belongings from here to whoknowswhere. Somethings you find in salvaging are yours but sometimes you have no clue where they came from.
Precious belongings that you look for sometimes are very dirty. Sometimes you can clean clothes that have insulation but not always. I was lucky enough to do so, because 3-4 days before the Joplin Tornado I put all clean clothes up in drawers which wasn’t normal for me to do so. Thankfully Mark (boyfriend @ the time, now husband) willingly cleaned quite a bit of clothes for me. I can still wear most of them, but not all.
Rubbermaid tubs are wonderful for getting items together from when you salvage but also for putting in the clean items that were dirty etc. There will be many items that you will need to clean everything with.
1. Clorox Wipes &/or Scotch Brite wipes for cleaning up Bibles and books — if moldy need to be treated everyday, or placed into a plastic bag. My Bible survived the tornado, it was used in my senior pictures and my engagement pictures
2. Legal size boxes for anything cleaned and to separated the families items into several of their own boxes for claiming
3. Bleach — very useful in the washing machine and of course cleaning items etc…
4. Warm water in small containers to get photos out of frames. Believe me it doesn’t ruin the photo but yet it allows you to keep them all nice and eventually they will be able to hang again.
5. A good crew of friends to help you ad-mist this time — for you will be able to have help and company to help you decide on what is truly salvageable. Plus it is a plus if they were not affected which helps you know what is best to keep amongst everything else.
6. Use of Paper towels to allow things to dry that have been salvaged. This also allows you to see if there is any more mold on the object so it can be cleaned further.
I know that this is very hard to do due to all the debris that is on them. Unfortunately cleaning clothes and other cloth items is much more difficult…
1. When you begin the washing machine be sure to run the rinse cycle first before even starting the clothes to wash….
2. After all the clothes in the load have been through the rinse cycle you now may start the actual cleaning the clothes. Since going through the disaster, I had very sensitive skin, and needed to be careful so I picked up something that would help me clean my clothes but also was gentle on my skin.
3. Allow washer to go through the complete load, but once it is done run the rinse cycle one more time to make sure everything is out of it.
Please also make sure survivors have enough laundry detergent, bleach, paper towels, clorox wipes and everything else. It is hard enough when cleaning clothes and precious items and run out of a product you desperately need.