If a hurricane has been through your region, it's a good idea to brush up on these key post-hurricane safety do's and don'ts. DON'T
Return home until authorities have declared it safe. If you aren't able to return home and need a place to stay, text SHELTER + your ZIP code to 43362 (4FEMA) to find the nearest shelter in your area. DO
Carefully inspect any home or building before entering, and use extreme caution when entering. Wear protective gear like goggles and breathing masks to avoid exposure to harmful materials like lead, asbestos, cement, or mold.1 DON'T
Enter a building if it has visible structural or fire damage, smells like gas, or has nearby downed power lines or floodwater. Floodwater can be especially dangerous as it can be contaminated by gas, oil, and raw sewage, or be electrically charged from downed power lines.2 DO
Turn on a battery-powered flashlight before entering a damaged home or building that was evacuated. A battery spark made inside an enclosed space could ignite a gas leak, if there is one.2 DON'T
Drive through floodwater.1
You should drive around water whenever possible, because it may be deeper than you think, or contain dangerous substances. If you can't drive around, turning back and finding an alternate route may be safer than forging ahead.
Call your insurance company as soon as you can evaluate the damage. If an insurance adjuster needs to come to your property to assess the damage and determine the size of your settlement, have your home inventory handy. That way, you can easily reference your possessions in case things are damaged or displaced and expedite the claims process. DON'T
Use a generator indoors. They omit deadly levels of carbon monoxide, and should always be kept a safe distance away from windows, vents, or doors. DO
Take photographs of any and all damage to your home and personal possessions.