Home remediation worker

Last fall, Hurricane Florence pounded Robeson County, North Carolina. The rain and storm surge devastated homes and businesses. In the aftermath, residents had to deal with mold and other dangerous conditions.

But a growing number of people there now know how to safely clean up their homes. They learned through the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences “Worker Training Program.”

Industrial hygienist Sharon Beard, a staffer with the program, says if people do not know how to protect themselves, they may put themselves in danger. For example, they might not realize …

Beard: “… you know, I’m not supposed to really open up the refrigerators that have been sitting there for a month because they have all that stuff that’s been rotting in those refrigerators. And going into homes that are structurally unsound becomes problematic, because anything can happen in those particular environments.”

Not everyone in a hurricane-prone area will be able to take a class, so the institute also provides community tools and booklets online.

The information is especially critical as climate change brings more extreme weather.

Beard: “In order for communities to be resilient, they have to understand the hazards.”

Not just during a storm, but after as well.

Reporting credit: ChavoBart Digital Media.