When preparing for a hurricane or other natural disaster, plan on being be self-reliant for at least seven days after the event has passed. You might be without important services, such as electricity, water, sewer, cell phone service, and local businesses. It’s important to plan and prepare for after a weather event. There are three categories you should consider.
Keeping you and your family safe is the highest priority. Yet, many accidents happen after a storm has passed. Please use caution and follow county directives and please, be Patient! Here are some things to remember.
- Stay tuned to your local media for the most current emergency information.
- Stay hydrated.
- Avoid downed or dangling power lines.
- Supervise your children.
- Avoid using candles. Use battery-operated lanterns and flashlights.
- Avoid driving, as road debris can puncture tires. If you do drive, treat any intersection with inoperable traffic signals as a four-way stop.
- If going outdoors, wear appropriate safety equipment, such as heavy boots, long-sleeved shirts, pants, hat and sunscreen.
- Do not wade in flood waters.
- Be aware that snakes, insects, alligators, and others will head to high ground.
- Keep your pets on a leash while outside.
- If possible, hire professionals to remove large, downed trees or limbs. Use extreme caution if using a chainsaw.
Reentering your Home
After the storm, you and your family will not be allowed to return to your home or business until search and rescue operations are complete and safety hazards, such as downed power lines, are cleared.
- Be Patient!
- Contact family and friends so they know you are safe.
- Check for damages before entering your home.
- Use no open flames, like matches, until you know there are no gas leaks.
- If you suspect a gas leak, immediately leave your home, and call 911 and your natural gas provider.
- Have a valid ID, which contains your address.
- If you need to return to your business, have a valid picture ID and documents indicating proof of ownership.
- If your home has been flooded, contact licensed electricians to inspect your home before you turn on any appliance.
Remember, storms can be unpredictable and, of course, dangerous. Stay tuned to your local news for important updates, and take the time to prepare yourself, your family and your business before the threat of a storm.
Learn more at:
- Disaster Preparedness — UF/IFAS Extension Sarasota County
- Hurricane Preparedness — Sarasota County website
- The American Red Cross.