Recovering From a Disaster
After the storm passes, there will be various adverse conditions, depending on the nature of the storm. Be prepared for the worst. If the damage is widespread and severe enough, it may be a while before help will arrive. As soon as it is safe to do so, emergency responders will begin a "Rapid Assessment" process, which will give a snapshot of the condition of the city, including the condition of critical facilities and casualty reports. At the same time, damage assessment teams will begin the damage assessment process, which will provide an estimate of the amount of damage to private and city property. The results of the Rapid Assessment and damage assessment processes will help to justify state and federal assistance to the city.
Listed below are important actions that you should take following the passage of a hurricane or tropical storm:
- Continue to monitor local news for up to date information. This is where a portable radio comes in handy if there is no power.
- If the area has been evacuated, do not return home until authorities indicate that it is safe to do so.
- Be careful while driving. Avoid driving through flooded areas and weakened bridges.
- Check utilities (gas, water, and electricity) for damage. Do not handle downed lines.
- Beware of snakes, insects, and animals that have been forced to higher ground from flood waters.
- Do not drink or prepare food with tap water until you are sure that it is not contaminated. Suspect water can be made safe to drink.
- Check refrigerated food for spoilage.
- Photograph any damage to your home and make only those repairs necessary to make it habitable until your insurance agent can see it. Save receipts for materials purchased to make repairs.
- Open windows and doors to ventilate if interior of your home or business was flooded.
- Do not use candles for lighting. Beware of using any open flame inside if there is a possibility of a gas leak.
- Use the telephone to report emergencies only.