After the Storm

Getting back to normal--
  • Stay tuned to local radio for information.
  • 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.
  • Avoid loose or dangling power lines and report them to the power company, police, or fire department.
  • Enter your home with caution. Beware of snakes, insect, and animals driven to higher ground by flood water.
  • Open windows and doors to ventilate and dry your home, if needed.
  • Check refrigerated foods for spoilage; if electricity is off, keep refrigerator and freezer closed as much as possible.
  • Take photographs of any damages, both to the house and its contents, for insurance claims.
  • Drive only if absolutely necessary and avoid flooded roads and washed-out bridges. Refrain from sightseeing.
  • Use telephone for emergency calls only.
  • Inspect utilities in a damaged home as follows:
    • 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 possible, and call the gas company from a neighbor's home. If you turn the gas off for any reason, it must only 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 line damage. If you suspect that lines are damaged, avoid using the toilets and call a plumber. If water pipes are damaged, contact the water company and avoid using the water from the tap. You can obtain safe water by melting ice cubes.