Before the Storm | As the Storm Approaches | During the Storm | After the Storm
After the Storm
What actions you should take | Returning to your property
What actions you should take:
- Stay tuned to local radio for help and rescue information.
- Don't go out sight seeing, stay home, clean up and help others.
- Help injured or trapped persons.
- Give first aid where appropriate.
- Do not move seriously injured persons unless they are in immediate danger of further injury. Call for help.
- Return home ONLY after authorities advise that it is safe to do so.
- Stay away from and avoid loose or dangling power lines and report them immediately to the power company, police, or fire department. Telephone or cable television wires that are touching a power line can become energized and should also be avoided.
- Stay clear of areas where there is a lot of debris or downed trees because there could be live power lines concealed in the debris.
- Stay clear of chain link or other metallic fences which may be energized if touching a downed line.
- Enter your home carefully and with caution.
- Beware of snakes, insects, and animals, large and small, driven to higher ground by the flood waters.
- Open windows and doors to ventilate and dry your home.
- Check both refrigerated foods and frozen foods for spoilage.
- Take pictures of the damage, both to the house and its contents and for insurance claims.
- Drive only if absolutely necessary. Avoid roads with standing water and all flooded roads and washed-out bridges.
- Use the telephone only for emergency calls.
Source: Various Emergency Management Agencies
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Returning to your property:
- Be careful driving home - Return home ONLY after local authorities advise that it is safe to do so.
- Use caution returning home - Enter your home carefully and with caution. Beware of snakes, insects, and other animals, both large and small, driven to higher ground by the flood waters.
- Avoid electrical shock - Never touch wires of any kind or objects in contact with them as they may be live. You can't tell if a wire is live or not by looking at it. Telephone or cable television wires that are touching a power line can become energized and should also be avoided.
- Watch for falling objects - Weakened tree limbs or structural debris may collapse and cause serious injury.
- Check for gas leaks - If you smell gas or hear blowing or hissing noise, open a window and quickly leave the building. Turn off the gas at the outside main valve if you can and call the gas company from a neighbor's home. If you turn off the gas for any reason, it must be turned back on by a professional.
- Look for electrical system damage - If you see sparks or broken or frayed wires, or if you smell hot insulation, turn off the electricity at the main fuse box or circuit breaker. If you have to step in water to get to the fuse box or circuit breaker, call an electrician first for advice.
- Check for sewage and water lines damage - If you suspect sewage lines are damaged avoid using the toilets and call a plumber. If water pipes are damaged, contact the water company and avoid the water from the tap. You can obtain safe water by melting ice cubes.
- Check the outside of the house and general property area for damage - If you suspect major damage, avoid entering the house and call your insurance company. They will advise you on the necessary steps to take in securing your home and property from additional damage. Take pictures of the damage, both to the house and its contents and for insurance claims.
Source: FEMA and Various Emergency Management Agencies
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