In our past few blogs, we’ve focused on steps you can take before a hurricane hits or in the midst of the storm to maximize you and your family’s safety. For this installment, we’re going to change things around a little bit, and focus on how to stay safe after a hurricane. While knowing what to do during a storm is definitely the most important part of hurricane preparedness, it’s also important to know what to do in the wake of a storm, so your family does not make unsafe decisions in returning to your property. Keep reading for everything you need to know about post-hurricane safety, and check out the rest of our blog for our complete series on hurricane season.
How to Stay Safe After a Hurricane:
- Stay away from powerlines and other power sources: Downed power lines are dangerous no matter what, but in the wake of a hurricane, where there has likely been water damage, they are to be avoided at all costs. The same goes for any other sources of power and electricity in your area. As far as electricity in your home…
- Don’t touch your electrical devices: Even though you should have already unplugged your electrical appliances and shut off your power before leaving home, it is still a good idea to avoid electrical appliances after a hurricane. Ideally, a professional should be able to sign off on everything before you turn your electricity back on. If your property has been damaged during the storm, then you could be at risk for electrical fires, making it essential to use the utmost caution. This brings us to—
- Use flashlights for light: Flashlights are one of the most important things to grab while preparing for a hurricane. After the storm is over, you will want to use these to shed light on your home, given the electricity hazards we have already discussed, and the fact that candles can easily cause accidental fires.
- Avoid damaged structures: Your home may be damaged during a hurricane, but your neighbors’ homes and other nearby buildings may be damaged as well. While you will want to hire a professional to assess the damage to your own home, as a rule of thumb, you should also avoid stepping inside or going near any building where destruction is evident. And remember, even buildings that look sturdy may have experienced damage on the inside, so it is always better to wait before charging in.
- Avoid floodwater: Floodingcan affect everything following a hurricane, from local roads to your own home. Stay away from areas which have been restricted because of flooding, and if your home has been flooded too, do not even think about stepping inside until you have had experienced restoration and clean-up professionals take a look at it. Floodwater often carries germs and bacteria, so even coming in contact with it can result in serious illness and disease. Remember, if you do touch floodwater, use alcohol wipes or soap and clean water right away.
- Stay away from animals: Other than perhaps reuniting with a pet, all creatures should be avoided in the wake of a hurricane. Unfortunately, wild animals are often displaced following disasters. If you see any in your area, do not approach, and make sure to call public heath officials’ right way, as they could be carrying rabies or other diseases. Dead animals are also a haven for germs and bacteria, and should also obviously be avoided. You should use insect repellent and wear long sleeves, too, as misquotes that appear after a hurricane often carry dangerous diseases
- Watch out for carbon monoxide poisoning: Any gas or coal-burning equipment can emit carbon monoxide. There is a good chance you have either a grill, generator, or washer in your home which creates carbon monoxide, and in the wake of a hurricane, you likely won’t have a CO detector to tell you if your property is at risk. To determine if carbon monoxide is a problem for your property, you should consider buying a battery-powered, backup CO detector. If you even smell a trace of anything funny, remember to call 911 and then a doctor right away, and do not, under any circumstances, turn on your gas oven.
FP Property Restoration Knows Hurricane Relief
At FP Property Restoration, we are known for our 24/7 emergency availability, and for on-site appointments in 30 minutes or less. When dealing with storm damage, our Sarasota restoration pros provide compassionate, comprehensive assistance, which we have been awarded for in the wake of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. We also received the Sedgwick Catastrophe Response Award for our services following Hurricane Michael. Tune in next week, the 30th, for our final blog on staying safe during hurricane season, and fee free to call FP Property Restoration anytime.
We are available now at (888) 408-2335, or you can contact us online.