SAFETY TIPS: What to do when you return home

You should return home only when officials say it is safe.

  • Don’t let anyone touch any electrical power lines and report any downed lines to local officials.
  • If you smell natural or propane gas or hear a hissing noise, leave immediately and call the fire department.
  • Wear protective clothing, including rubber gloves and rubber boots.
  • Check any food for spoilage and throw it out if exposed to temperatures higher than 40 degrees for two hours or more, or if it has an unusual odor.
  • If food has been exposed to floodwaters, dispose of it.
  • Avoid drinking or preparing food with tap water until you’re sure it’s not contaminated.
  • Do not use a generator, grill, camp stove or other gasoline, propane, natural gas or charcoal-­burning device inside a home, garage, basement, or any partially enclosed area. Locate the unit away from doors, windows and vents that could allow carbon monoxide to come indoors.
  • Use the telephone only for emergency calls.
  • If the power is still out, use flashlights, not candles for light.
  • Stay out of any building that has water around it.
  • Watch animals closely and keep them under your direct control.
  • Parts of your home may be collapsed or damaged. Approach entrances carefully. See if porch roofs and overhangs have all their supports.
  • Materials such as cleaning products, paint, batteries, contaminated fuel and damaged fuel containers are hazardous. Check with local authorities for assistance with disposal to avoid risk.
  • Inspect your home for damage. Take pictures of damage, both of the building and its contents, for insurance purposes.

POWER OUTAGE

Millions of people are still without power and people can stay safe by following these tips.  If your power is out:

  • Use flashlights for light, not candles.
  • Keep the refrigerator and freezer doors closed as much as possible. Check refrigerated food for spoilage and if in doubt, throw it out. Your refrigerator will keep cold for about 4 hours. If the freezer is full, it will keep its temperature for about 48 hours.
  • Turn off and unplug all unnecessary electrical equipment and any appliances, equipment or electronics to avoid damaging them when the power is restored.
  • Avoid unnecessary travel as traffic lights will be out and roads congested.
  • Watch animals and keep them under your direct control.
  • Don’t use a generator, grill, camp stove or other gasoline, propane, natural gas or charcoal-­burning device inside a home, garage, basement, or any partially enclosed area. Locate the unit away from doors, windows and vents that could allow carbon monoxide to come indoors.

FLOODING

Many neighborhoods are still under water. If your neighborhood is flooded, you should:

  • Stay away from floodwaters. If you come upon water above your ankles or a flooded road, turn around and go another way.
  • Keep children away from the water.
  • Be especially cautious at night when it is harder to see flood danger.
  • Keep away from loose or downed power lines and report them immediately to the power company.
  • Stay out of any building that has water around it.

SPACE HEATERS

The temperatures are dropping and many people may consider things like kerosene heaters or fireplaces to stay warm.

  • Place the heater on a level, hard and non-flammable surface in the home.
  • Keep potential sources of fuel like paper, clothing, bedding, curtains or rugs at least three feet away from space heaters, stoves, or fireplaces.
  • Portable heaters and fireplaces should never be left unattended. Turn off space heaters and make sure any embers in the fireplace are extinguished before going to bed or leaving home.
  • Keep children and pets away from space heaters

2 Responses to SAFETY TIPS: What to do when you return home

  1. [...] Rewritten for Sandy victims for Hoboken NJ | Original Post by: America Red Cross [...]

  2. [...] for Sandy victims for Hoboken NJ | Original Post by: America Red Cross | Photo Credit: Claus Guglberger via Twitter & [...]

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