In the wake of the hurricane, there are some safety tips that will teach you what to do in case of emergency and will help you survive the storm.
Safety Tips During a Hurricane
Stay inside – You should stay inside even if the storm seems to have passed. Don’t leave your home or sanctuary, until you get an official communication from the disaster management authorities that all is clear. After the calmed storm passes, a wind with a hurricane force blows from the opposite direction. If you go outside to feel what the wind is like, you can be hit by flying debris. Be prepared with a medical kit. You may need to have something on how to stop swelling.
Be careful about the food you eat – Throw away any perishable food, if the electricity has been out for several hours or more. The perishable food in your fridge (without electricity) will turn sour after 48 hours. Anyway, be wise and use common sense and if anything feels, looks smells funny, throw it away.
In case of power outage – Never use a camp stove, grill or generator in your house, the Red Cross suggests. Furthermore, your refrigerator shall be closed as much as possible, since an unopened one can keep food cold for approximately four hours. And if the outage lasts longer than 24 hours, use a cooler with ice.
In case of a flood – Keep yourself away as much as possible from flooded basements and puddles on the streets. The chances are big that the water is contaminated, and also there is a risk of electric shock. And in case of evacuation, you shall take with you a first-aid kit, flashlight and batteries, clothes, cell phones and chargers, cash and personal documents.
Don’t have absolute trust in social media – Don’t believe in any hurricane-related snap or footage you’ll see on Twitter, Facebook or other social media. Don’t panic, because there are many fake photos and recordings that have gone viral.
After the storm – Check if there is water around gas meters, and if not, just in case, contact your gas company before you turn on the electricity. Also, you should pay attention to any other damages including loose power lines, damaged gas lines, foundation cracks, that may put your safety at risk. Last but not least, photograph the damages in your home for insurance purposes.
In case the electrical outlets of your home become submerged, it’s advisable to call a licensed electrician before you try to restore power or turn on the main circuit breaker. Once your electronic equipment and electrical appliances are submerged in water, wait for at least a week to let them get dry thoroughly. Then call a qualified repair person to get them examined before you put them to use. It’s better not to try repairing a flood-damaged appliance on your own as it could cause an electrical shock or even death.
In case your outdoor AC system has been under water, its controls are likely to have water and mud accumulated inside. So, rather than trying to restart it, which could cause further damage and need costly repairs, it’s prudent to get the system checked by a competent air conditioning technician before using it. Remember, hurricane Sandy is merciless, you’d better be prepared and act wisely.