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In the Wake of the Storm

Posted on: 06/11/2015

In the Wake of the Storm

Being prepared for a hurricane is a necessity, but sometimes the aftermath of a storm can bring a whole new set of problems you weren’t expecting to face. Here are some tips for safely and efficiently navigating the wake of a hurricane.

  • Up to date information is key and this is where your battery powered radios will be your greatest assets. Listen to a NOAA Weather Radio or the local news for the latest updates.
  • The end of the high winds doesn’t always mean you’ve seen the last of the rain. Stay alert if there is extended rainfall as subsequent flooding is still possible. Do not attempt to enter buildings that have been flooded.
  • If you were evacuated, whether by official mandate or choice, return to your home only when officials say it is safe.
  • Take precautions when deciding to travel. Make sure you drive only if necessary and do not attempt to cross flooded roads and washed out bridges.
  • Power cables may have come lose during the storm. Do not attempt to move or drive over these roads. If possible, report them to the power company or emergency authorities.
  • Once storm has passed and the flooding has abated, inspect your home and property for any damage. Take pictures of any damage you find—both in the building and the contents—and keep these for your insurance records.
  • If the power is off, use battery powered light sources rather than candles or open flame. Additionally, make sure to check refrigerated food for spoilage. If you are at all unsure, throw out food rather than eating it.
  • When drinking or cooking, avoid using tap water until you are sure it has not been contaminated. Potential contamination should be reported by news sources, but better to take any precautions you can.
  • When walking outside, wear protective clothing and be cautious when cleaning to avoid any potential injury. Emergency response times may be longer than usual due to debris and flooded roads.
  • If you have pets, keep a close eye on them and ensure they don’t escape. In addition to storm damage, other escaped pets and roaming wild animals may present a danger to your pets.
  • Especially if you only have a cell phone, avoid using it to conserve battery power. Only call in cases of emergency.
  • If your community has experienced a disaster, register on the American Red Cross Safe and Well website as soon as possible to let your family and friends know that you are safe. You can do this online or by calling 1-866-GET-INFO.

Stay safe this summer!