So, you’ve just experienced a severe storm, or worse yet, a hurricane. If you live in Florida, you may already know how bad it can get. But what about after the storm has passed?
Severe storms can deal plenty of damage to our property and homes. Not only is it important to prepare before a storm, but it’s also important to be prepared after a storm. As we near the peak of the hurricane season, here are some tips to help you stay safe after a storm and during a power outage.
After a Storm
While you may have gotten through a storm safely, there are still safety risks to consider. According to the CDCMorbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, most serious injuries from Hurricane Irma in 2017 were due to indirect causes such as unsafe conditions and disruption of medical services. Here are some things to keep in mind after a storm:
- Be aware of any hazards from broken glass or loose nails.
- Stay away from downed power lines – if you see sparks or visible wiring, there may be an increased risk of electric shock.
- Make sure all electrical systems are turned off by shutting off the main circuit breaker.
- If you have to enter standing water where electrical outlets may be submerged, do not enter that area.
- Call your electric utility if you haven’t done so already to have them turn off power at the meter.
- If you smell gas or suspect there’s a gas leak, make sure to shut off the main gas valve, open all windows, and leave the house immediately to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning.
- Ensure you have access to all your medications if you take any.
During a Power Outage
Hopefully you have prepared for a power outage before the storm hit. This way you can use those resources if you need to. Here are some other safety tips during a power outage.
- Use your portable flashlight, instead of lighting any candles. Hand-crank flashlights are available if you’re concerned about battery life.
- Turn off all electronics including the TV and computer to prevent a power surge when the power comes back on.
- Avoid opening your refrigerator if you don’t have to. This way you can keep your food from spoiling. This is also important if you refrigerate some of your medications.
- Use your generator if you have one. Remember to keep it away from your home in an outdoor, dry area.
Storm preparation can be quite stressful. But that’s only part of the equation. It’s also important to be prepared after a storm when the damage has been done. As long as you follow these tips, you should be in a better position to handle the storm’s aftermath.