Just because the storm has passed does not mean you and your family are out of danger. There are simple safety rules to follow after a severe storm to keep you out of harm's way.

Wait for clearance

First, wait until municipal authorities let you know it's safe to return to your home.

In case there's flooding

If you encounter a flood situation, don't attempt to cross it. Eighty percent of flood deaths occur when people are in vehicles. Avoid danger by turning around or moving towards higher ground.

What to take with you

Bring necessities with you like food, water and a disaster kit when you return to your home.

Beware of hazards when it's safe to return:

  • Snakes or other animals could have been forced into your home by floodwaters.
  • Stay away from downed power lines.
  • Food spoilage and an unsafe water supply are common. It may be awhile before you can safely drink tap water.

To check if your home has power after a hurricane, use a flashlight, not a candle. More deaths result in accidental fires than from actual natural disasters.

Checking damage at your home

When you're assessing damage to your home, wear sturdy clothes and protective clothing. Have a professional check your water, gas, electric and sewer lines. If your house has water damage contact your local Red Cross chapter for information on repair. Also, consult your state Emergency Management Agency (EMA).

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