Many disaster-related injuries occur in the aftermath of a hurricane. Here are some steps to protect you and your family.
- Continue to monitor the radio or TV for advice and/or instructions from local government.
- Obey all curfew and emergency orders when issued.
- Remain inside until local authorities say it is safe to leave. If you must go outside, watch for fallen objects and downed electrical wires.
- If you have evacuated, do not return home until officials announce your area is ready. Remember, proof of residency and/or a tier re-entry placard may be required in order to re-enter evacuation areas.
- If your home or building has structural damage, do not enter until it is checked by officials.
- Contact your insurance agent. Take pictures of damage. Keep good records of repair and cleaning costs.
- Avoid downed power lines and any water in which they might be lying.
- Be alert for poisonous snakes, often driven from their dens by high water.
- Beware of weakened bridges and washed out roads.
- Watch for weakened limbs on trees and/or damaged overhanging structures.
- Do not use the telephone unless absolutely necessary. The system usually is jammed with calls during and after a hurricane.
- Guard against spoiled food. Use dry or canned food. Do not drink or prepare food with tap water until you are certain it is not contaminated.
- When cutting up fallen trees, use caution, especially if you are using a chain saw. Serious injuries can occur when these powerful machines snap back or when the chain breaks.
- Stay out of areas of heavy storm impact; do not sightsee.
- Do not drive or walk through standing water. It may be much deeper than you realize and there may be hidden hazards.
- Do not operate charcoal grills, propane camping stoves or generators indoors.
- Be patient and careful. Cleanup after a storm can take time.
- Discard any refrigerated food that you suspect has spoiled.