An area that has been ravaged by a storm is still often extremely dangerous once the storm has passed. A few things to keep in mind:
- Let first responders do their jobs. You may not have access to your property immediately, but rescue teams are there to secure the area, clean up downed power lines, broken gas lines and save lives. Make sure you give them time.
- Stay off the roads unless necessary.
- Avoid downed power lines no matter what.
- Do not use matches in a storm since gas lines may be compromised. Use flashlights instead of candles.
- If your home is flooded, keep the power off to avoid getting electricuted. Do NOT walk into a wet area with the power on.
- Fallen trees can contain downed power lines. Stay away from them.
- Avoid metal fences as they may be an electrical hazard.
- Boil water before drinking as it may be contaminated.
- Pests are often a burden after flooding. American cockroaches particularly love water and will often infest. Schedule a pest treatment if your home has flooded.
- For insurance purposes, document damage with video and photography before you have repairs.
- If you need to do home repairs, discuss insurance claims with the repair company up front. They can often guide you through the process.
If you have the means to help, here's how to become a FEMA voluenteer.
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