What To Do After a Storm

What To Do After a Storm

Tips and Resources on Post-Hurricane Disaster Efforts

Mandatory evacuation orders are in effect for Jefferson County as Hurricane Laura blazes toward the region. Now is a good time to review your storm preparation plans and make any last minute updates.

Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash 2017.

|TIP| There’s still time to do some Hurricane Preparedness before Laura hits Southeast Texas and Southwest Louisiana. If you can, take the opportunity to do so right now.


Cleaning up after a disaster can mean facing a wide range of hazards, from contaminated water, to animals and insects, to splintered wood and sagging ceilings.

At a minimum, everyone who helps with clean up and repair should wear long pants, long sleeves, sturdy shoes, and work gloves. They may also need specialized equipment such as an N95 mask if dealing with mold or potential asbestos hazards. Read more at RedCross.

|TIP| Be vigilant and mindful that COVID19 is still an ever-present concern. It may impose limitations on if/when resources for aid/assistance are available after the storm.


When it is safe to do so, walk around your property to assess the damages. Take photos and notes of any physical damage from storm debris and wind force, as well as water damage from flooding.

Once you have a clear idea of the damages, then you can work on a plan for tackling the cleanup process. Determine if you will need special equipment, such as a chainsaw or roll-off dumpster for debris.

You should also make arrangements for getting additional help or possibly finding a team of helpers for moving heavy or bulky items and objects.

|TIP| Some water facilities such as sewage may be interrupted after the storm. If you are in need of portable toilet or hand-washing stations, be sure to make arrangements in time for cleanup work to begin.

Photo by CDC on Unsplash 2020.


Cleaning up your home can be a big job. Be sure to pace yourself and remember to take breaks when you need to. Stay hydrated. You should also prioritize which tasks to handle first based on how important they are.

|TIP| Check out CDC Hurricane Safety Tips and Resources for more information.

Be sure to open windows and doors when there has been water damage or is risk of mold. This is also an important step if you are using harsh chemicals such as bleach, which should never be used in a closed space.

Beware of electrical hazards while you work and steer clear of any power lines that have been damaged. Do not work if you smell natural gas and instead contact emergency services.


Photo by Chris Gallagher on Unsplash 2019.

Now that we’ve given you some handy post-storm advice, here are some important and potentially life-saving reminders about cautions during and immediately after a hurricane.

  • Most importantly, EVACUATE if you are able. Make it a priority.
  • If you can’t, remember to stay indoors during the storm and away from doors and windows. Do not go outside during a storm.
  • DON’T get in the water or talk on the phone, as both make you prone to lightning injury even inside your home.
  • Turn Around, Don’t Drown! Especially when driving. Each year, more deaths occur due to flooding than from any other thunderstorm related hazard. Read the warning signs here.
  • Flooding after a storm will likely persist for days. Please AVOID floodwater as it is often full of harmful debris & dangerous bacteria.
  • The National Hurricane Center projects that Laura is expected to produce life-threatening storm surge*, extreme winds, and flash flooding over eastern Texas and portions of Louisiana.

*Storm Surge is the rising of the sea level due to the low pressure, high winds, and high waves associated with a hurricane as it makes landfall. The storm surge can cause significant flooding and cost people their lives if they’re caught unexpected.

|TIP| You can listen for weather updates on LOCAL radio station info even on your Android or iOS devices with apps like TuneIn and Simple Radio (both are free).

Caronavirus Consequences: US Recycling & Waste At Risk

Highlighting Waste & Recycling Pressures During a Modern Pandemic

An Excerpt Collection
A discarded medical glove in Jersey City, N.J., April 27, 2020. Arturo 
Holmes/Getty Images

. . .

|”Many of the new staples of pandemic life (such as single-use plastic containers, online shopping packaging and disposable gloves, wipes and face masks) are made from plastics that are simply not worth recycling if there are any other disposal options.”|

“Many items designated as reusable, communal or secondhand have been temporarily barred to minimize person-to-person exposure. This is producing higher volumes of waste.”

|”Sanitation workers have noted massive increases in municipal garbage and recyclables. In cities like Chicago, workers have seen up to 50% more waste. According to the Solid Waste Association of North America, U.S. cities saw a 20% average increase in municipal solid waste and recycling collection from March into April 2020.”|

While bottle deposit stations remain closed, recyclables pile up in 
basements and garages. David Rieland, CC BY-ND

“The global recycling economy has suffered since 2018 as first China and then other Asian nations started banning imports of low-quality scrap – often meaning improperly cleaned food packaging and poorly sorted recyclable materials. “

|”Given worker safety concerns, low market prices for scrap materials, a slowed economy and cheaper alternatives for disposal, many communities and businesses across the U.S. have temporarily suspended collection of recyclables and bottle deposits.“|

“Based on monitoring since 2017 by the trade publication Waste Dive, nearly 90 curbside recycling programs had experienced or continue to experience a prolonged suspension over the past several years. About 30 of these suspensions have occurred since January 2020.

|”Although higher volumes of recyclables are being set on the curb, budget deficits are squeezing recycling programs. Many municipalities are struggling with multimillion-dollar shortfalls. Some communities have cut recycling programs altogether. And these stresses are testing an industry already facing uncertainty.”|

The original article is from The Conversation, republished in excerpts here
under a Creative Commons license. You may wish to read the original "COVID-
19 is Laying Waste to Many U.S. Recycling Programs".
Authors of the original article: Brian J. Love, Professor of Materials 
Science and Engineering, University of Michigan and Julie Rieland, PhD 
Candidate in Macromolecular Science and Engineering, University of Michigan

. . .

If you’d like to read more about how the system of recycling worldwide has been struggling since 2018, we wrote an informative piece about it in our blog here. The next installment in the Recycling series will discuss the implications of Asia’s regulation restrictions, issues with materials contamination, and costs associated with keeping such programs alive. More to come soon.

Hurricane Season is Here: Are You Prepared?

Hurricane Season is Here: Are You Prepared?

Tropical Storm Cristobal has given us a timely reminder of the 2020 Hurricane Season’s arrival. Starting June 1 and lasting through November 30, the long Season is best weathered when everyone has a Preparedness Plan in place.

“So how do I get a Plan? Where do I start?”

One place where there are a ton of resources available is from National sources like Ready.gov/hurricanes and the National Weather Service, as well as local options like City of Beaumont with specific details on Evacuation Routes, Assistance Resources, FAQs, and a lot more.

It can be overwhelming to looks at too much information at once, so here are some basic tips that can help you get started. Please remember to check National and Local resources periodically and keep your plans updated.

Source: National Weather Service

GET STARTED by talking with your family, friends, and neighbors about your area’s specific risks (for example, if you live in an area that frequently floods) and asking some basic preparedness questions:

What evacuation route is best? Will we shelter-in-place if there is an optional evacuation? For a mandatory evacuation, where is our out of town destination? Who is our non-local emergency contact? Do we need an Emergency Kit or a “Go” bag? What about our Pets?

As you answer these questions, you can write down your Plan or fill in a ready-made form such as those from FEMA here. Now is also a good time to think about how you can safeguard and protect vital papers (such as identity documents, medical records, and financial/legal forms).

One important thing to remember is to TALK through your plan with children ahead of time and PRACTICE the plan with your household.

If you can, assign certain family members a specific task. For example, have one person be responsible for the evacuation kit and another loading items into the vehicle. Assign these tasks in advance and periodically review them with each family member. Not only does this ensure the evacuation process goes smoothly, having specific tasks can help calm nerves during a stressful time.

Image Source: Germania Insurance

Lastly, remember to keep advised of current CDC guidelines related to the COVID19 pandemic as these could affect your Hurricane Preparedness Plans. The CDC actually has some helpful information about preparing for Hurricane Season during this pandemic, to make things a bit easier.

Thinking Green This Holiday Season?

Thinking Green This Holiday Season?

Did you know… Americans throw away 25% more trash between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Eve than any other time of year?

It’s true! From all the gift buying and wrapping of presents to parties and packaging materials to holiday greeting cards and decorations — waste really starts to add up during the Holidays. That’s about one million tons of extra garbage each week!

Being mindful of sustainable consumption and managing your waste this holiday season is easy if you have the right information. Here are some creative and useful tips you and your loved ones can use to have a brighter celebration with less waste.

Did you know… Americans throw away 15 million used Christmas trees each year?

Tree Smarts

When it comes to the iconic Christmas tree, it’s easy to go with a reusable “fake” tree to prevent a lot of the landfill impact. But if you have to have a live tree, garland, or wreath in your home, be sure to check with your local communities about potential recycling programs. Many areas collect trees in the first few weeks after the Holidays to be composted or mulched and used in water conservation and weed control.

When gift-giving this season, consider…

  • Thinking Digital Choose no-waste gifts, such as downloadable music, subscriptions to streaming services, online newspapers, etc.
  • Gifting An Experience Choose sports lessons, memberships to a gym, symphony, or museum, or tickets to an event or concert. Plan an activity as your gift, such as camping at a national or state park or visiting a gallery.
  • Going DIY Choose environmentally-smart gifts such as homemade food items like baked cookies, bread, and jams, or make your own soap or candles to gift.
  • If you must buy new… Buy products made from recycled or organic materials and look for gifts with an environmental message: a nature book, a refillable thermos bottle, a canvas tote bag, a battery recharger, gardening supplies or give a plant.
  • If none of those ideas work for you… Go for items of quality, durability, and practicality – things that someone can use for years to come rather than ending up in a landfill after a couple of months. Lastly, remember to shop local and support area shops, makers, and artisans while reducing shipping costs and impacts.

Wrapping is as easy as 1-2-3

  1. Consider reduced or no-waste wrapping options! For example, put a large reusable or cloth bow on the gift or place it in a reusable bag, purse, or backpack.
  2. You can even get creative and try using colorful pages torn from magazines, old maps, Sunday comics, kid art, or old posters instead of traditional wrapping paper.
  3. If you must use new store-bought wrapping paper, then try to look for ones made of recycled paper and remember that foil, metallic or glitter accent wrapping paper IS NOT recyclable.
Did you know… the 2.65 billion Christmas cards sold each year in the US could fill a football field 10 stories high?

Card Care

If we each sent one card less, we’d save 50,000 cubic yards of paper waste. Think about sending holiday greetings via e-mail or social media. It’s a great way to share photos and memories, while customizing your message and making it more personal!

If you are old-fashioned and want to send a physical card, consider making your own or sending plantable/seeded cards. If you must use store-bought traditional cards, remember to avoid cards with glossy, shiny or gold foil coatings since these CANNOT be recycled.

Final Thoughts

  • Reduce. Donate old toys and unwanted gifts or clothes.
  • Reuse packing and shipping materials. Save ribbons, bows, boxes, bags, and decor for the next holiday.
  • Recycle old electronics and batteries at a local facility.
  • Replant, mulch, or compost your live tree and compost food scraps.

If you’d like to read more tips about this, you can check out these links here.

What do you think? Let us know if you have any Green tips or Holiday hacks to reduce waste this season! Leave us a comment 🙂

Historical: Harvey Two Years Later

Historical: Harvey Two Years Later

By this time, many of you have probably heard many comparisons about Imelda and Harvey, as many people are deciding now is a relevant time to revisit those wounds. We know you’ve heard, talked about, and read a lot already about Harvey’s destruction and aftermath, but we thought now would be an appropriate time to lean in and retell a few impactful pieces of truly historical information, especially following the recent storms and tornadoes out of North Texas in recent days.

“Hurricane Harvey was the most significant rainfall event in U.S. history, both in scope and peak rainfall amounts.”

Source: 2018 US Geological Survey
Harvey viewed from the International Space Station on Aug. 28, 2017 at 1:27 p.m. CDT as a Tropical Storm. (Photo by Astronaut Randy Bresnik. Credits: NASA 2017)

“Not only were rainfall totals exceptional during Hurricane Harvey, the area affected was also larger than previous events.”

Source: 2018 US Geological Survey
Interstate 10 submerged by floodwaters of Harvey on Sept. 1, 2017, Vidor, Texas.
(Photo by Brett Coomer. Credits: Houston Chronicle 2017)

Some sources have claimed that Hurricane Harvey actually destroyed more vehicles than any single event in American history. The Insurance Council of Texas reports an industry-wide figure of at least 250,000 cars and just short of $4 billion paid out. If you throw in the uninsured fleet, which is sadly an enormous number, this has to be the single largest incident of vehicular destruction in America.

Fast Forward to 2019

And then we had Imelda enter the scene. The risk it posed was already being downplayed as just an area of disturbed weather up until literally the last moments. When most people thought the risk the weather posed was over, and over the span of a mere 15-45 minutes, things changed drastically for the worst — and what resulted, we all saw. Right outside the coast, it changed to tropical depression and again to tropical storm before meandering over Southeast Texas and drenching our communities. Many of the same areas bombarded by Harvey were again traumatized by Imelda.

Imelda’s history as shown by The Weather Channel company. (Source: TWC 2019)

In retrospect, what’s the damage?

  • Ten weather events have already inflicted at least $1 billion in damage each in 2019, NOAA said.
  • This is the fifth year in a row with at least 10 such costly weather disasters in the US.
  • Since 1980, 254 such weather disasters have inflicted $1.7 trillion in damage.

To read more, visit the article here.

The facts, the data, the statistics, the details – for Harvey, they’re in and finished. But for Imelda and the other weather disasters still to come, there is still a lot of research to be done before we get all the information.

Of course it’s not all doom and gloom, as we’ve seen from the outpouring of community support and the numerous photos floating around social media proving the resilience and commitment to empathy for others in these and similar situations.

From the ‘Cajun Navy‘ or similar individuals rescuing stranded folks from their rooftops to local businesses opening their doors to provide shelter to those in need. From Texans showing up en masse to help save pets in flooded animal shelters to rescuing over 50 horses that weren’t evacuated in time.


We are Resilient. And we are #TexasStrong.

Dumpster Brokers: The Truth You Should Know

Dumpster Brokers: The Truth You Should Know

This piece is especially timely right now, because there are always outsiders looking to “make a buck” off of local tragedy. When natural disaster strikes, as it has in Southeast Texas recently with Imelda, predatory businesses sometimes try to use the circumstances to their advantage, mostly at the expense of true locals.

“What is a dumpster broker anyway?”

In short, they are middlemen. Brokers often act as if they are a local dumpster service, when in fact they don’t own any dumpsters and are definitely not locally based or owned. If you are the average person looking for quotes or pricing info for local dumpsters, rolloffs, storage containers, etc. and you have ever done a simple search through Google, Bing, or another search engine, then you have likely seen a broker advertising as if they were local.

Don’t be fooled by the fakes, choose local.

Dumpster brokers are sometimes hard to spot because they typically don’t announce the fact that they are a broker. They actively seek unused local addresses and phone numbers to advertise on their websites. But when you call them and ask for a return phone number, they will often give you a direct line that is out of State or toll-free. These guys answering the phone often want to make a commission, can be pushy about securing terms soon, and will insist on theirs being “the best deal locally”. The broker businesses they represent want to charge you more for using the same products and services you could find locally with a phone book directory or simple word of mouth referral.

You can avoid these companies (and extra fees!) by calling known dumpster providers in your area!

One quick way to check if the company is truly local is to edit your search terms for another city. For example, if you searched for “local rolloff Beaumont Texas” and have come across a company that might be a broker, change your search. Have it read “local rolloff San Antonio Texas”, or Houston, Austin, etc. instead. If the very same company comes up as local and has a different phone number for each area code, that is a red flag that this is not a locally-owned company. It’s a broker.

Besides the increased cost of using brokers, communication pitfalls are another inevitable result if you aren’t choosing truly local companies.

“Information on getting what you want, where you want it, when you want it now travels through a third party. Details and advice on sizes, placement, payment, loading and more all get short-changed. Broker’s information is usually somewhat vague because they advertise the same services and roll-off containers to every city in the country with one website.”

From Sam Stankie of Sam’s Hauling Inc. in Denver, CO.

If you need to make last minute adjustments and update your delivery driver directly, going through a third-party can cause delays and confusion. If you are not sure about the size of rolloff you need for your specific projects, a local company’s best interest is to customize your work order to your needs. However, a broker’s main concern is making money as the middleman and may not give the best advice on which size container to use.

|REMEMBER| A reputable, local dumpster/rolloff rental company will be licensed, insured, and upfront about its pricing structure. Avoid broker websites that have vague, outdated information, or very generalized details but no pricing information anywhere.

Do you think you’ve been duped by a broker before?

Do you have any experiences with brokers like this? We would love to know your thoughts about them and any tips on how to look out for their tricks.

Making Waves: Imelda

Just two years after Hurricane Harvey’s devastating rainfall, southeast Texas once again faced costly flooding and loss of life. Such is the aftermath of Tropical Storm Imelda.

2019 – Images courtesy of NASA.
IMERG satellite technology estimated rainfall totals (left) and Tropical Storm Imelda (right).

Most of the areas hit by Imelda received at least 9 inches of rain from Tuesday to Friday, but in isolated areas, such as to the southwest of Beaumont, the hardest-hit areas saw up to 43 inches of rain. Imelda now ranks as the seventh-wettest tropical cyclone to impact the United States.

Texans will be picking up the pieces left by this storm for many years to come, though many have yet to fully recover from the last.

If you are a local of SETX, you’ll already know that some of the flooded areas are the very same as those already hit hard in 2017 by Hurricane Harvey, which dropped more than 60 inches of rain and 68 deaths with its historic flooding.

Imelda cleanup is well under way here and we’re working hard to help everyone.

In the wake of this repeated destruction, we at 2S Companies wanted to share some helpful information about using any rolloff container, and not just give yet another update about the effect of Imelda on our communities.

Tips for Using Rolloffs During Disaster Cleanup

  • Do Not Over-Fill the Rolloff – It may be tempting to try and work around a dumpster that is too small by piling as much debris as possible into a container, but don’t do it. Debris piled over the top/rim of the rolloff is a road hazard and we cannot legally haul it.
  • Choose the Right Size – Stuffing 30 yards of debris in a 20 yard container simply doesn’t work. It can end up costing you way more because of multiple hauls. Do your homework and be sure to order the right sized container for your specific needs. It’s much cheaper!
  • Talk to Our Team – If you are unsure about your specific needs and want to avoid more headache during this devastating time, please express your needs when asking for a quote. Our team can be very helpful since having an understanding of roll-off dumpster sizes and their measurements is very important in choosing the right size container for whatever your project may be. We are here to help!
Still hard at work!

As always, we are hard at work to meet your needs and are working overtime to help everyone we can. We love this community and, although times of hardship like these are never any easier, the visible outpouring of Local support and National assistance warms our hearts! Texas Strong!

Texas Strong, Always.

To read more, visit the articles consulted for this post here, here, and here.