Southwest Florida experienced a major hurricane in September 2022, which resulted in catastrophic losses to both residential and commercial properties. During a time when your valuable investments are damaged or swept away by floodwaters, it’s normal to feel lost and overwhelmed. Most property owners do not know where to begin, but the most important thing after a hurricane or any other disaster passes is to ensure that everyone is safe.
Here are some important reminders to bear in mind when dealing with a storm disaster’s aftermath. The experts at ServiceMaster by Wright have compiled them for you.
What to Do After a Hurricane
Stay Indoors and Out of Floodwaters.
- Storms create a lot of hazards even after they have passed, so it’s best to stay inside. Do not engage in unnecessary sightseeing to prevent disrupting emergency response.
- Stay out of floodwaters if you can to reduce the risk of infections and other hazards that can severely injure or even kill you.
- If you have to enter floodwater, wear proper protective equipment and wash your hands with soap and clean water afterward.
- Stay away from fallen power lines to prevent electrocution.
Stay Away From Unsafe Structures.
- If you hear unusual or shifting noises in your home, leave immediately. This could mean that the building is nearing collapse.
- Do not go inside damaged buildings until they have been declared safe for entry.
- When in doubt, have a qualified building inspector or structural engineer inspect your home before entering.
If Evacuated, Do Not Return Home Until It's Safe to Do So.
- To find the nearest temporary shelter in your locality when it’s not safe to go home, text SHELTER + your ZIP code to 43362 (4FEMA). Example: SHELTER 12345
- If you require long-term housing, you can check the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) website. They offer grants and services to help you repair your home or find replacement housing.
Make Sure That All Family Members Are Safe.
- Only use the telephone for emergency calls. Check your family communications plan to get in touch with other family members.
- Contact the American Red Cross at 1-800-RED-CROSS/1-800-733-2767. This organization keeps a database that can be useful when locating a loved one.
Assess the Damage.
- When it’s safe to do so, survey your immediate area for hazards such as live wires and gas leaks. Vacate the area immediately when any hazard is present and find a safer location.
- Turn off power, gas, and water sources when it’s safe.
- For insurance purposes, document the damage to your home and its contents.
Use Flashlights for Illumination.
- Refrain from using candles or open flames. When using flashlights, turn them on outside the building to prevent igniting any gas leak present indoors.
- Do not use water-damaged electrical devices.
Do Not Use Tap Water for Drinking or Preparing Food.
- There’s a huge possibility of the water supply being contaminated after a flood or a hurricane. Do not consume tap water until local officials declare that it is safe to do so.
- Reserve water for firefighting efforts when the water pressure is low.
Watch Out for Distressed Animals and Displaced Wildlife.
- Storms can affect pets and other animals, too. Be wary of wild and stray animals, such as snakes, alligators, and rodents.
- Use a stick when poking debris; animals may be hiding underneath it.
Never Use a Generator Indoors.
- This is done to prevent the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. Keep generators outside and at least 20 feet away from any door, window, or vent.
Call a Professional Damage Restoration Company.
- Prevent further damage by getting board-up and tarping services. This is also important when filing insurance claims later on.
- Professionals can assist with water, mold, and storm damage restoration and repairs to get your home or business back up and running immediately.
Our Storm Damage Restoration & Repair Services at ServiceMaster by Wright
Contact Us for Emergency Storm Damage Restoration in Cape Coral, Florida
ServiceMaster by Wright is here to assist with restoration and repairs after Hurricane Ian through our comprehensive storm damage restoration services. Call us at (239) 431-9947 for assistance in Cape Coral, Florida.
Due to the large volume of calls, we are receiving at the moment, you can send us a detailed message through our online contact form. We’ll respond right away.