So far, you’ve been safe from the storm. But with Hurricane Michael bearing down on Florida and Georgia, it’s best to plan ahead in order to minimize the damage. As a business owner, it can be hard to get back on your feet after a natural disaster hits.

It takes time and patience to rebuild after losing everything–but don’t give up. By following these tips, hopefully you’ll come out of this event stronger than before.

Make sure you shut off gas and electricity.

Before you start cleaning, it’s important to ensure that the gas and electricity are off. You might get electrocuted if you clean while everything is wet.

And, of course, you’ll be in for an unfortunate surprise if something explodes when everything is plugged in.

For safety reasons, turn everything off before cleaning or wait until all power has been restored after a power outage.

Wear protective gear.

You must protect yourself while cleaning. This includes wearing gloves and waterproof footwear. It’s much easier to clean the place when you use protective gear.

If it’s still raining outside, you must also wear a raincoat. If it’s still terrible out, then suspend your plans of cleaning the area.

Apart from protecting yourself against potential electrocution, you also don’t want to touch anything that dirty water has passed through as infections are possible.

Determine what items you can recycle.

If you find your home a flood victim, don’t throw everything out! Though your place might look terrible, there are still ways to save some items and recycle valuable materials.

Some recycling companies will even buy recycled aluminum. Not only will you be saving these materials, but you’ll also be saving money.

Scrub the walls and floors.

If you decide to return to your old place, make sure you scrub the walls and floors well. Once everything is dry, explore whether or not the items are reusable.

Use cleaning products.

If you want to get rid of bacteria after cleaning a surface, buy disinfectants so that you can be sure it’s dead.

If a type of disinfectant seems like it could cause an explosion, never mix it with another item in your home.

Help rebuild other people’s homes.

You’re lucky if you still have a place to call home. Others might not be as fortunate as you are and can’t rebuild their homes once the storm passes. If you have the time, try to help those in need by extending a hand.

You might be in their shoes someday, and not able to find a safe place to sleep for months on end. Try following the same strategies from rebuilding your home.

Work with experts.

If you’re in the middle of cleaning up after a disaster and decide to start rebuilding, work with expert builders. Consult them and explore ways to prevent the same thing from happening again. But unfortunately, natural disasters can occur in any area and there’s no way to stop it from happening.

Hurricanes are scary and tough to get through, but if you survive they can make you a better person. Just be strong and don’t let anything put you down. It’s only a stumbling block that will help you on your path to become stronger.

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