When a hurricane strikes your community, you might wonder what to do once the imminent danger has passed. Our emergency relief company has created a helpful list to help you stay safe in the hours after a hurricane has passed.

Listen for Updates from Local Authorities – Even after a hurricane or tropical storm has passed, you still want to pay attention to local news or NOAA weather radio to ensure there aren’t any other potential issues to be aware of—such as flooding, tornadoes, or critically damaged roads or buildings.

Check-in With Family & Friends – Cell towers and phone lines might be knocked down, which can make it difficult to call family and friends to find out if they are okay or to let them know you are okay. So, try to minimize the number of phone calls you make and instead use texting or social media.

Be Careful When Outside – Even weaker hurricanes can cause downed trees, powerlines, floodwater, and other debris. If you must go outside, you will want to be extra careful of where and how you travel. Remember, floodwater can contain contaminants, including raw sewage and industrial chemicals.

Avoid Using Matches – If you use gas in your home, it is essential to avoid using any type of open flames until you can verify there are no gas leaks. Use a flashlight and, if you smell gas or suspect a leak, turn off the main valve and call your gas company and/or the authorities.

Don’t Drink or Cook with Tap Water – The same contaminants that can fill up floodwater—including harmful bacteria—can end up tainting the tap water supply after a storm. Don’t cook or drink tap water until the local authorities give you the okay to do so.

Inspect Your Home & Report Any Losses – Once it is safe for you to do so, you will want to inspect your home for any damage. Make a list of any losses you notice from the storm and back everything up with photographic evidence. You should also have a licensed home inspector come out, which will make things easier when it comes time to make any insurance claims.

As the storm clouds move away, we hope that our list will help you find brighter days in the future. Our disaster relief company has seen many communities devastated by Mother Nature, but we have seen just as many rebuild stronger than before.