How to Prepare for a Hurricane

After the Hurricane

Although it's tempting to want to go outside and see what's going on, wait until the authorities give the "all clear" signal. "Safety is always the No. 1 priority. Only go outside if it is safe to do so; heed the advisories from the National Weather Service and local emergency officials," says Eric R. Alberts, corporate director of emergency preparedness at Orlando Health via email. "If an all-clear is given, always be aware of your surroundings as there will be many hazards to watch out for such as: damage, down power lines, broken glass, debris, tree limbs, etc."

If you need to start cleaning up, be very careful to wear protective clothing, shoes, glove and goggles. Don't touch electrical equipment if it is wet or you're standing in water. Turn off the electricity at the main breaker. And don't wade in flood water. There could be downed lines or dangerous debris you cannot see. Open the windows to speed drying of the house (assuming it's safe to do so.)

The phone lines may be down or overloaded at this time. Try text or social media to talk to loved ones. Document property damage with your phone or camera. Contact your insurance agent as soon as you can to report any damage.

Depending how long you were without power, inspect the food in your freezer to see if it is safe to drink. Don't drink tap water until told to do so by the authorities. In the meantime, boil water at a rolling boil for one minute or use water purification tablets.

If you have a portable gas-powered generator, use it outside on a dry and level service. Never use it indoors and never pour gas into it while it is running.