After the Storm
- Re-entry. Be Patient. Access to affected areas will be controlled. You wont be
able to return to your home until search and rescue operations are complete and safety
hazards, such as downed trees and power lines, are cleared. It may take 2-4 weeks before
utilities are restored.
- Return home only after authorities advise that it is safe to do so.
- Stay tuned to local radio and TV for information.
- Have a valid ID. Security operations will include check points. Valid identification
with your current local address will be required.
- 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.
- Avoid loose or dangling power lines and report them immediately to the power company,
police, or fire department.
- Enter your home with caution.
- Beware of snakes, insects, and animals driven to higher ground by flood water.
- Open windows and doors to ventilate and dry your home.
- Check refrigerated foods for spoilage.
- Take pictures of the damage, both to the house and its contents and for insurance
- Drive only if absolutely necessary and avoid flooded roads and washed-out bridges.
- Use telephone only for emergency calls.
Inspecting Utilities in a Damaged Home
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.