Hurricane Recovery

After a hurricane or other natural disaster, do not return to your place of business before the area is declared safe by local officials. Once it is okay to return, protect yourself, your employees and your property by following these tips and recommendations:

  • Account for all employees who stayed at the facility during the emergency. If someone needs to be rescued, call professionals with the proper equipment to help.
  • Use caution in flooded areas. Floodwaters may be contaminated by agricultural or industrial chemicals or hazardous agents.
  • Do not attempt to drive in flowing water. As little as six inches of water may cause you to lose control of your vehicle. Two feet of water will carry away most cars.
  • Stay away from standing water. It may be electrically charged from underground or downed power lines.
  • Conduct a preliminary inspection to verify stability before entering a flooded, formerly flooded or wind-damaged building. If there is extensive damage, have a professional engineer or architect certify that the building is safe for work.
  • Have professionals check gas, water and electrical lines and appliances for damage.
  • Assess damage to buildings and equipment. Photograph and document all damage. Notify your insurance agent as soon as possible.
  • Make temporary repairs to protect the building and contents. Remove and discard porous organic materials that have become wet or visibly contaminated.
  • Use a flashlight for emergency lighting. Never use candles and other open flames indoors. Only use tap water for drinking and cooking after local officials have reported that it is safe to do so.
  • When using a generator, be sure that the main circuit breaker is off and locked out prior to starting the generator. This will prevent inadvertent energizing of power lines and help protect utility line workers from possible electrocution.
  • Avoid breathing dust (potential fungal spores) generated by wet building materials.
  • Use the telephone only for emergency calls.

Next: Hurricane Warnings