How to Stay Safe After a Hurricane

tips for staying safe after a hurricane


Even once a storm has passed, there are still many hazards for you to avoid and be aware of. Many make the mistake of sightseeing too early and don't take the necessary after-storm precautions to stay safe. Follow the tips below to ensure you, your family, and your property are safe during the aftermath of a hurricane natural disaster.

Tips for Staying Safe After a Hurricane

1. Return to Your Home

If you evacuated, wait for authorities to advise you when it is safe to return home. Use caution when re-entering your home because there could be animals in your house seeking refuge from the storm.

2. Stay Informed

Listen to local news, radio, or government updates to get the latest information on safety conditions, evacuation orders, and emergency services. Follow social media channels of local authorities for real-time updates.

damage after a hurricane

3. Assessing the Damage

Before entering your home after a hurricane, visually inspect the exterior for signs of structural damage, such as cracks in walls, foundation shifts, or a sagging roof. If you suspect significant damage, consult a building inspector or engineer before entering the property.

Be prepared for significant amounts of water damage as well. Open doors and windows to let everything dry out.

4. Avoid Flooded Areas

Floodwaters can be contaminated with sewage, chemicals, or other harmful substances. Avoid contact with floodwater to prevent waterborne illnesses. If you need to wade through standing water, wear waterproof boots and consider using a stick to check the depth and stability of the ground.

using generator after storm

5. Use Generators Safely

If you're using a generator, keep it outdoors in a well-ventilated area, away from windows, doors, and vents. Do not run a generator inside your home, garage, or any enclosed space, as it can lead to carbon monoxide poisoning, which is a silent and deadly gas.

6. Be Cautious with Electricity

Avoid touching electrical equipment or outlets if you are standing in water or on wet ground. Call a licensed electrician to inspect your electrical system and appliances for any damage before reconnecting to the power grid.

7. Check for Gas Leaks

If you smell gas or suspect a gas leak, leave your home immediately and head to a safe location. Do not use matches, lighters, or any electrical switches, as a spark could ignite the gas. Contact your gas company and emergency services from a safe distance.

property insurance claims after hurricane

8. Contacting Your Insurance Company

Get in contact with your insurance company immediately to file a claim. You do not need to wait until all of the damage has been determined to start an insurance claim. Take photos and document any damage you find to add to your report.

9. Be Mindful of Food Safety

If the power has been out for an extended period, check the temperature of refrigerated food. Discard perishable items if they have been above 40°F (4°C) for more than two hours. When in doubt, throw it out to prevent foodborne illnesses.

10. Protect Yourself from Insects

Standing water attracts mosquitoes, which can carry diseases like West Nile virus or Zika. Apply insect repellent with DEET or picaridin, and wear long-sleeved shirts and pants to protect yourself from mosquito bites.

11. Stay Hydrated and Rest

Recovery efforts can be physically demanding, especially in hot and humid conditions. Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water and taking regular breaks to avoid overexertion.

cleaning mold after a hurricane

12. Use PPE when Cleaning: Wear personal protective equipment, such as heavy-duty gloves, masks, and sturdy footwear, when cleaning up debris to protect yourself from cuts, abrasions, and inhaling dust or mold spores.

13. Seek Medical Attention if Needed

If you or anyone else experiences an injury, illness, or symptoms of heat-related illnesses like heatstroke, seek medical attention promptly. Do not ignore potentially serious health issues.

14. Ask for Help

If you are suffering due to hurricane-related damages and losses, whether emotionally or financially, help is available. No matter what you are experiencing, you are not alone. It is common to experience a wide range of feelings, from anxiety and overwhelming sadness to anger and disconnectedness. 

Here are some resources that can help:

FEMA’s Individuals and Households Program- provides financial services for uninsured and underinsured individuals affected by disasters

American Red Cross- provides all types of disaster relief around the world

Survivors of Disasters Resource Portal- a service for disaster survivors provided by the US Department of Health and Human Services. 

Dealing With A Lot Of Post-Hurricane Damage?

If you are dealing with damaged furniture, yard debris, or property damage after a hurricane, we can help! We have specialized storm clean-up dumpsters that will make your after-storm clean up efficient, safe, and easy.

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