The United States Department of Housing and Urban Development Office of Lead Hazard Control and Healthy Homes offers a great guide to disaster recovery called Rebuild Healthy Homes.

Published in May 2015, the guide sets out the following Top 10 Tips for Rebuilding Healthy Homes:

  1. Remind yourself often to put people before property! Make safety your top priority.
  2. Wear personal protective equipment (PPE), including protective clothing and a NIOSH-approved respirator, every time you set foot in a damaged or moldy building.
  3. Assess structural stability and hidden hazards before you enter. A professional inspection may be needed.
  4. Prepare a plan (supplies and methods), make a map (disposal and clean-up site layout), and review insurance policies and disaster assistance resources.
  5. Go slow when pumping out water, then act fast to dry out and remove mold. Copy and share the DIY Mold Removal Guidelines sheet with workers.
  6. Always remove wet insulation and foam padding, even if the surface looks dry and clean.
  7. Assume lead-based paint and asbestos are in homes built before 1978 (unless verified not present). Be mindful that disturbing such materials increases the hazard.
  8. Control dust, capture debris and contain contaminants – with wet methods, drop cloths, debris bags, HEPA vacuums and workers trained in safe work practices.
  9. Check credentials and hire only licensed and insured contractors, Lead-Safe Certified Renovators, certified Asbestos professionals, Mold Remediation Contractors, Fire and Water Damage Restorers, and other professionals, depending on types of work needed.
  10. Restore for More than Before! Install hazard-resistant materials, connectors and building systems. Include energy-saving and healthy home improvements.

Click on the image below for a full-size version of the Top 10 Tips.

Guide to Post-disaster Restoration for a Safe and Healthy Home

Guide to Post-disaster Restoration for a Safe and Healthy Home

Click here to download the full Rebuild Healthy Homes document