Home Safety After a Disaster
Be safe, be smart.
What to know about utility service after a disaster.
Before using any electrical equipment or electrical appliances, have a certified electrician check items before you start them or turn the power back on.
Consult your utility company about using electrical equipment, including power generators. If a generator is online when electrical service is restored, it can become a major fire hazard.
If you see sparks or broken or frayed wires, or if you smell burning insulation, call an electrician for advice.
Remember, do not smoke, use candles, gas lanterns or other open flames inside and around your home.
Be careful in rooms with standing water — it may cover electrical outlets and exposed lines.
If you smell gas or hear a blowing or hissing noise, open a window and quickly leave the building. Call the gas company from a neighbor's home, do not use your cell phone.
If you turned off the gas or it isn't working, it must be turned back on by a professional. Have a licensed plumber or the utility company check the gas lines before restoring service.
Don't turn on your cell phone if there is danger of combustible gases. Cell phones can ignite such gases and create a major explosion.
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 using water from the tap. You can obtain safe water from undamaged water heaters or by melting ice cubes.
Water Damage, Interior Flooding
If flooded, pump out your basement gradually. The walls could collapse or the floor could buckle if the surrounding ground is waterlogged. Not sure? Get an inspector.
If your home has sustained water damage, visit FEMA and review the information on water damage under the "flood" section.
Examine walls, floors, doors, staircases and windows for damage.
Open windows and doors to ventilate and dry your home, if possible.
Watch for loose plaster, drywall and ceilings that could fall.
To protect and minimize further damage, cover holes in roof or windows with tarps if necessary.
For more information, go to Safely Reentering an Evacuated Home
|After A DisasterSpotting and Documenting Storm DamageJust had a storm blow through your town? Here Stephen Hadhazi, a public insurance adjuster and publisher of DocuDamage.com, an educational consumer website, offers his top tips on how to spot and document storm damage.Securing a Damaged HomeHere's what to do to safeguard your home after a storm or disaster.Safely Reentering an Evacuated HomeBe safe, be smart. If you've been displaced, all you may be able to think about is getting back home. Wait!Replacing Valuable DocumentsHere is contact information for replacing documents and records that have been damaged, destroyed or lost.Rebuilding and Renovating a Damaged HomeAny form of construction can be a lengthy process. Here are some starter tips to get started. Moving Back Home After a DisasterWhile it's very difficult to do, think of this as an extremely extended camping trip as you cope over the next few weeks and months.How to Choose a Contractor or RestorerHiring a contractor or a restorer can be costly, but professionals may be the best way to remove water and mold and get the job done right. Plus, professional restorers can provide helpful hints to prevent further damage.Home Repair and Renovation Steps to FollowFollow these steps to make sure your post-disaster restoration or rebuilding project is done right the first time.Documenting Fire and Storm DamageIf possible, document the internal and external damage ASAP. Talk with recovery officials regarding safety issues you should be aware of - safety first! - as well as key areas/items you should take pictures of.Cleaning Your Home After a Fire or StormAfter your insurance company representative has assessed the damage, you need to make a decision regarding the cleaning of your home and possessions.Home Safety After a DisasterWhat to know about utility service after a disaster.|