The following information will help you overcome challenges and get back to “normal” after emergencies happen. Not all of these will apply to every situation, but they do apply to the most common weather and other similar emergency events.
- Listen to authorities for information and special instructions. This includes NOAA Weather Radio and local authorities for updated information if you are not sure the emergency has passed, or if clean-up has been started.
- You may need to avoid driving for a period of time after the emergency to allow for cleanup and assurance of safe roadways.
- Be careful during clean-up. Wear protective clothing and work with someone else.
- Do not touch electrical equipment if it is wet or if you are standing in water. If it is safe to do so, turn off electricity at the main breaker or fuse box to prevent electric shock.
- Avoid wading in flood water, which can contain dangerous debris. Underground or downed power lines can also electrically charge the water.
- Stay clear of fallen power lines or broken utility lines.
- Do not enter damaged buildings until you are told that they are safe.
- Use a generator or other gasoline-powered machinery ONLY outdoors and away from windows.
- Save phone calls for emergencies. Phone systems are often down or busy after a disaster. Use text messages or social media to communicate with family and friends.
- Document any property damage with photographs. Contact your insurance company for assistance.
- Discard any food or medication that has been without refrigeration over a period of time.
- After snowstorms and in cold weather, limit your time outside. If you need to go outside, then wear layers of warm clothing. Watch for signs of frostbite and hypothermia.
- In snowstorms, reduce the risk of a heart attack. Avoid overexertion when shoveling snow.