Pre-Flood Household Hazardous Waste Prevention Checklist
During past flooding events in the Midwest, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has partnered with various local, state, and tribal governments under the authority of the federal Oil Pollution Act to recover certain types of items from flood waters to prevent them from entering landfills. Notice of impending flooding allows time to relocate and secure these items so they do not become inundated, pollute water or become hazardous wastes.
We realize there are many important issues that you need to address prior to the arrival of flood waters, but we hope you will take time to prevent items on the list, below, from becoming inundated. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has forecast a series of anticipated flooding depths that may help you determine where these items could be moved to keep them from being inundated.
For example, if an area surrounding a two-story home is forecast to experience flooding at a depth that would not reach the upper floor, items already in the home could be moved to the upper floor to keep them out of flood waters. However, many items normally stored in garages, barns or other outbuildings—especially the flammable products listed below—should not be moved into homes for safety reasons. When possible, flammable products should be removed altogether from potentially flooded areas before flood waters can rise to reach them.
The following list shows common household items which contain potentially hazardous ingredients that might be found in homes, garages, basements or other storage spaces:
Wood and metal cleaners/polishers
Tub, tile, shower cleaners
Ant sprays and baits
Cockroach sprays and baits
Flea repellents and shampoos
Mouse and rat poisons and baits
Propane tanks and other compressed gas cylinders
Home heating oil
Lawn and Garden Products
Carburetor and fuel injection cleaners
Air conditioning refrigerants
Transmission and brake fluid
Adhesives and glues
Oil or enamel-based paints
Stains and finishes
Paint thinners and turpentine
Paint strippers and removers
Fixatives and other solvents
Fluorescent light bulbs