Post Hurricane Safety
While we have touched on storm safety and hurricane protection during the storm, we haven’t talked about best practices after the storm passes. For information on this topic, we reached out to Ready.gov, the government’s resource for information on any type of emergency situation.
Pay attention to continued storm protection messages. Storm safety situations are constantly changing. Just because the initial storm has passed, doesn’t mean the danger has been complete averted. Another storm could be on the way that could further damage your home or could be increasingly dangerous due to the volatile conditions. Refer to the old adage for storm safety; it is better to be safe than sorry.
Do NOT return home until local officials say it is safe. This rule includes ‘just stopping by to check the damage.’ I hate to say it, but you do not know better than someone who is actually there looking at the damage in the area. This is not a chance to be tough – wait at the hurricane shelter or storm shelter until you are given the ‘all clear’.
Use FEMA as a hurricane safety resource. The Federal Emergency Management Agency exists to help out in storm protection situations. If you are unable to return to your home after the storm and need a storm shelter, you can text SHELTER + your ZIP code to 43362 (4FEMA) to get information on the nearest hurricane shelter in your area. In addition, if you have any other needs or questions such as long-term housing or safety questions, use FEMA as a hurricane protection resource.
When you do return to your home from the storm shelter, be very aware of your surroundings. Pay attention to everything – down or loose power lines, odd smells, sounds and water damage are just a few examples. Also, be aware that wild animals and insects may have sought storm shelter in your home, so keep pets and children under close watch. Use only bottled water and nonperishable foods until you are sure that its safe.
Immediately look for damage and record it. Take photos and write down specific descriptions of the damage. If needed, seek out a reliable building inspector to do a thorough check of your home for less obvious dangers post-storm.