For the last several weeks, we’ve all watched destruction unfold as hurricane after hurricane has ravaged Texas, Louisiana, Florida, Puerto Rico and other locations in the Atlantic and Caribbean.
Harvey arrived on August 25, pummeling the Texas coast with high winds and over 50 inches of rain and displacing tens of thousands of residents. Quickly after came Irma, flying through the Caribbean and Puerto Rico on September 6 before hitting Florida, where it left 15 million people without power. News outlets are full of advice on how to stay safe during a hurricane, but what about after the storm has passed? Here are some tips on how to stay safe once the hurricane has passed.
- Beware of debris. One of the first things we want to do after a huge storm is get out and assess the damage. But after such high winds and extensive rain, streets are often strewn with hazards. Make sure to be extremely careful outside and extra wary of downed power lines, fallen trees, broken glass, and treacherous chunks of buildings and commercial signs.
- Do NOT drive through standing water. This means in parking lots, roads and bridges. It may be hard to believe, but a car can get carried away in as little as a foot of water! Additionally, deep water can stall your engine and leave you stranded.
- NEVER use a generator inside your home, even with the doors and windows open. Carbon monoxide is one of the biggest killers after a storm!
- Watch out for wild animals. Snakes, rodents, insects, wasps—these animals might be seeking higher ground after the storm and they can be dangerous.
- Don’t drink your water. Flooding can bring waterborne bacterial infections. Treat all water as if it’s infected until you can get an inspection.
Stay safe out there! Turn on your radio so that you can listen for emergency bulletins and updates with the latest storm information.