(WIS) - There are some important things to keep in mind per the SCEMD 2018 Hurricane Guide when returning home after officials give the all clear to do so. Keep tuned in to your local news outlets and social media for recovery information.
- If you have evacuated, some areas may be inaccessible even after the official evacuation order has been lifted.
- Avoid downed and sagging power lines. Report them immediately to the power company, police or fire department.
- Avoid flooded roads and washed-out bridges and roadways.
- Follow directions provided by public safety officials. Never try to move or drive around barricades.
Entering your home:
- Enter your home with caution.
- Open windows and doors to ventilate and dry your home.
- Check refrigerated foods for spoilage.
- Use the telephone only for emergency calls.
- Beware of snakes, insects and other animals driven to higher ground by floodwater.
- Do not use candles or open flames indoors. Use a flashlight to inspect for damage.
- Local officials will provide information about how you can properly dispose of storm debris and damaged property
- Inspect the utilities in your home.
- Check for gas leaks. If you smell gas or hear a blowing or hissing noise, open a window and quickly leave the building. Turn off the gas at the outside main valve if you can. Call the gas company from a neighbor's home. If you turn off the gas for any reason, it must be turned back on by a professional.
- Look for electrical system damage. If you see sparks, broken or frayed wires, or if you smell hot insulation, turn off the electricity at the main fuse box or circuit breaker. If you have to step in water to get to the fuse box or circuit breaker, call an electrician first for advice.
- Check for sewage and water line damage. If you suspect sewage lines are damaged, avoid using the toilets and call a plumber. If water pipes are damaged, contact the water company and avoid water from the tap.
- Take pictures. Photos of the damage will help in filing insurance claims.
- Contact your insurance claims agent as soon as possible.
- Let a relative know you are home. Tell them how to get in touch with you, especially if phone service is out.
- Monitor the radio, TV and social media for additional info about what's going on in your area.
- Learn how to apply for possible assistance and how to receive further official information.