WHAT TO DO AFTER THE STORM

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  • Co-operate fully with local authorities and public safety officials and keep listening to your local radio or TV station for information. If you evacuated, return home only when authorities advise that it is safe.
  • Drive only if it’s absolutely necessary. Immediately after the storm passes, debris and flood waters may be covering roadways, making them impassible. Emergency crews will be working to clear roadways, but it may take hours or even days to clear them all.
  • Avoid sightseeing. Roads may be closed for your protection so if you encounter a barricade, turn around and go another way. Do not drive in flooded areas. Avoid washed-out roadways.
  • Stay on firm ground. Moving water that is only six inches deep can still sweep you off your feet. Standing water also may be electrically charged from downed power lines.
  • Watch out for downed power lines around you, as they may be charged and dangerous. Assume all downed lines are live.
  • Enter your home with extreme caution. Watch out for fallen objects or damaged roofs and wall sections. Look for nails, splinters, holes in walls or floors, wet or falling sections of ceiling, undermined foundations and gas leaks.
  • Use flashlights or other battery-powered lighting. Avoid using candles and other open flames indoors.
  • Remove shutters or plywood and open windows and doors to ventilate or dry your home if necessary.
  • Check gas, water and electrical lines and appliances for damage. Do not attempt to repair damaged gas or electrical lines. Call a professional.
  • Do not drink or prepare food with tap water until you are certain it is not contaminated.
  • If your home has been flooded, flush plumbing fixtures with buckets of water to be sure they are open. Have health authorities inspect your sanitary disposal system.
  • Water may have backed up into the septic tank, which in turn backs up into the plumbing system. This could cause a health hazard.
  • Do not eat food that has come in contact with flood waters. Some food can be salvaged if properly packaged. Consult local health officials if in doubt.
  • Start clean-up as soon as possible, especially if your home was flooded. Take pictures of all damage before you begin cleanup or repairs, for insurance purposes.
  • Wear protective clothing on legs, arms, feet and hands while cleaning up debris. Wear rubber gloves while scrubbing flood damaged interiors and furniture.