After a Hurricane
What to do once a hurricane has passed
Even after a hurricane has passed, the potential for danger hasn't. It's important to proceed with caution when you're returning home, inspecting damage, and cleaning up.
- Be completely sure the storm is over before emerging from or returning to your home. The sudden clearing of the weather might not mean that the hurricane is over, but only that the eye of the storm is passing directly over you.
- Monitor updates from local officials for further instructions.
- Check-in with family and friends and let them know you are safe.
- Return home only when the authorities indicate it is safe to do so.
- Watch out for debris and downed power lines.
- Avoid walking or driving through flood waters. Only 6 inches of moving water can knock you down, and fast-moving water can sweep your vehicle away. Flood water can also be electrically charged from underground or downed power lines, or hide dangerous debris and holes where the ground is washed away.
- Check for gas leaks by sound and smell. Apply a mixture of soap and water to the pipe and bubbles will form when there’s a leak. In that case, shut off all gas and call a professional for assistance.
- Ensure that electrical, water and sewage systems are functioning.
- To eliminate harmful bacteria, any tap water you intend to use should be brought to a rolling boil for at least one minute. If you're at an altitude over 6,652 feet, The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends a rolling boil of three minutes. Store all sanitized water in a clean container.
- In the event of lost power, do not turn on your power breakers until after power has been restored.
- Once power has been restored, monitor how the electricity is functioning by both sight and smell in order to prevent a fire.
- If you see any sparks or smell anything burning, immediately shut off your power supply and get professional assistance.
- Assess any damage your home has suffered and photograph it to assist with filing any .
- Do what you can to prevent further damage to your property, (e.g., putting a tarp on a damaged roof), as your home insurance may not cover additional damage that occurs after the storm.