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Fact Sheet

June 2011

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:

Cleaning Products
Oven cleaners
Drain cleaners
Wood and metal cleaners/polishers
Toilet cleaners
Tub, tile, shower cleaners
Pool chemicals

Indoor Pesticides
Ant sprays and baits
Cockroach sprays and baits
Flea repellents and shampoos
Bug sprays
Household insecticides
Moth repellents
Mouse and rat poisons and baits

Flammable Products
Propane tanks and other compressed gas cylinders
Home heating oil
Diesel fuel
Gas/oil mix
Lighter fluid

Lawn and Garden Products
Fungicides/wood preservatives

Automotive Products
Motor oil
Fuel additives
Carburetor and fuel injection cleaners
Air conditioning refrigerants
Starter fluids
Automotive batteries
Transmission and brake fluid

Workshop/Painting Supplies
Adhesives and glues
Furniture strippers
Oil or enamel-based paints
Stains and finishes
Paint thinners and turpentine
Paint strippers and removers
Photographic chemicals
Fixatives and other solvents

Mercury thermostats/thermometers
Fluorescent light bulbs
Driveway sealer

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