Thankfully, Hurricane Irene wasn't as bad as it could have been in some places. But there were still plenty of people affected by the hurricane in significant ways. What do they do next? Well, they clean up. Here are seven tools to help.
Beach dredging is a controversial technique for rebuilding beaches after a hurricane, due to its environmental effects (potential reef hazards, sea turtle harm, water visibility, etc). But still, a powerful storm can cause hundreds of metres worth of erosion, and dredging is a technique many cities still turn to. A beach dredger will head out to an offshore location, scour the floor of the ocean for sand, and then pump it back out onto the beach, restoring what was once there.
Clean-ups can be dangerous because of the dust, mould, bacteria and other undesirables that fester after a hurricane. Most government and aid organisations, such as NIOSH, recommend wearing a respirator with a HEPA filter while cleaning up.
Buildings are damaged. Foliage is strewn about. Trash is everywhere. All of that stuff has to be moved somewhere. A bad arse dump truck with a knuckle boom appended onto it is usually up to the task.
Streets, buildings and homes will be flooded. A quick way to transfer water is with the use of a water pump. A 3.5hp pump that can handle solids will serve a home or business well in their cleanup efforts. For jobs outdoors, a truck with a water tank might be outfitted with a more substantial pump.
High volumes of water and and powerful winds make trees susceptible to toppling over. When it comes time to get them out of the street, chainsaws are the best option for breaking the tree down into movable chunks. A durable chainsaw like the Stihl MS280 could do the trick for most residential cleanup efforts, which can handle trees with trunks almost 1m wide.
Pressure washers are necessary for cleaning muck and mould off walls, furniture and anything else covered in debris. And in this instance, a DIY solution (PDF} involving a 208-litre drum full of water, a pressure washer motor, and hoses is good for areas where water isn't readily available. Crafty. Very Crafty.
After a flood, getting things as dry as possible, as quickly as possible is key to minimising damages. The sole function of a dehumidifier is to do just that, sucking moisture out of the air that would normally encourage the growth of mould. A portable dehumidifier, like the TempAir Orion, can remove up to 106 litres of water from the air in a single day.