You Know Hurricane Prep… But What About Afterward?

If you live in a state that borders an ocean or the Gulf of Mexico, you know how devastating hurricanes can be.

It’s very possible you’ve been forced out of your home by a hurricane. Or had wind or flood damage from a storm of that magnitude.

Maybe you live in one of the 20-some inland states affected by Hurricane Sandy in 2012. If so, you know these storms don’t just stay on the coast. 

Their impact can be felt for many miles. Preparing for a hurricane isn’t just for East Coast and Gulf of Mexico states. But just as important as preparation is knowing what to do once the storm is over. 

Safety first.

After a severe storm, the first thing you will see is debris and damage. But the biggest threat can be what you don’t see.  

These storms almost always knock out electrical power. Sometimes for days or even weeks. That means darkness inside your house and outside at nightfall. 

Unless you want bigger problems than property damage, you must keep safety a top priority. Following a strong storm, there could be a number of dangerous threats lurking. Like rusty nails waiting to be stepped on. Or downed power lines.  

You need an emergency light charged and ready to provide visibility. A good light source can also help you assess property damage or ward off any looters.  

And make sure your emergency lighting source is solar powered since you might not be able to recharge it for a while. And includes a way to power up other electronic devices. Including your phone.

Watch out for damage

Once the storm passes, continue to monitor weather reports. And use flashlights instead of candles if your power is out. 

If you’re returning after evacuating, keep an eye out for ruptured gas lines and damaged structures. 

Report any damage sustained by your home to your insurance agent as soon as possible. Keep in mind insurance companies will be inundated by claims. So try to beat others to the punch. 

Both during and following a hurricane, the single biggest problem is usually flooding. Water contamination is not far behind. 

During the flood threat

If flooding has already started or seems to be on the way, here are 4 steps you can take to protect yourself and your family.

  • Because you may need to move to higher ground on short notice, tune into emergency radio and be ready to move quickly.
  • If you’re driving and you see standing water ahead, stop. Six inches of water is enough to stall out most cars. And it may be deeper than it appears. Same thing if you’re on foot. Fast-moving water can carry people off. Stay away from streams, sewer drains, and drainage canals. 
  • If there is time to evacuate your home, turn off all of your valves. Unplug appliances. And move your most expensive items to the highest point of your home. 

After the flood threat

Following the flood threat, take the following 4 action steps. Keeping in mind that the threat may only seem to be over.

  • Don’t walk into any standing water. There could be objects in the water that you can’t see. Including electrical wires.
  • Continue to listen to emergency radio. You may be informed of a secondary threat of which you were not aware. 
  • Keep your eyes focused on potential hazards. Including broken glass, downed power lines, ruptured gas lines, and damaged structures. 
  • Remain away from the area until city authorities declare it is safe to return. 

Water contamination

Flooding from past hurricanes has overwhelmed many residential areas. These storms turned streets into raging rivers and backyards into rising lakes. 

The immediate concern for many of those people was being saved from drowning after their homes were inundated by storm surge. But after the waters receded, a new concern developed. 

The aftermath of flooding is often dangerous water contamination. Flooding can stir up toxic chemicals from waste sites. Standing floodwater could also be contaminated by gas, oil, and sewage.

Scientific analyses of water in cities where hurricanes occurred found that levels of E. coli were 135 times what is considered safe. Levels of hazardous metals, including lead, were also raised.

Free hurricane handbook

I hope you’ll remember some of the things we covered today. But at 4Patriots, we like to go the extra mile to help our friends.

Click Here to download a 15-page digital handbook to learn more about recovering from a hurricane. 

Knowing what to do before, during, and after these violent storms can be a lifesaver.

Leave a comment

*Required Fields