Safety After the Storm
CHARLOTTE COUNTY, Fla. (Sept. 11, 2017) – Knowing what to do in the wake of a severe storm or disaster may be just as important to you and your family as taking proper actions ahead of the storm. Follow these tips to stay safe:
Keep listening to your local radio or TV stations for the most current information.
Drive only if it is absolutely necessary, as debris may be covering roadways making them impassible. Crews will be working to clear roadways but it may take hours or even days to clear them all. Do NOT drive around to sightsee. If you encounter a barricade, turn around and go another way, this is for your protection.
Areas may be flooded, do not attempt to drive in flooded areas. Avoid weakened bridges and washed out roadways.
Stay on firm ground. Moving water only six inches deep can sweep you off your feet.
Beware of downed power lines. Lines may be charged and dangerous. Standing water may be electrically charged from downed power lines.
Expect the unexpected. Beware of snakes, insects or animals. There was a bear that appeared in Punta Gorda Isles following Hurricane Charley. He was tranquilized and returned to his habitat.
When you return to your home:
Enter your home with extreme caution. Beware of fallen objects or damaged roof and wall sections.
Remove shutters or plywood and open windows and doors to ventilate or dry your home if necessary.
Check gas, water and electrical lines and appliances for damage. Do not attempt to repair damaged gas or electrical lines. Call a professional.
Do not drink or prepare food with tap water until you are certain it is not contaminated.
Avoid using candles or other open flames indoors. Use a flashlight or other battery powered lighting.
Use the telephone to report emergencies only. This includes cellular phones.
Be especially cautious when using a chainsaw to cut fallen trees.
Never connect portable generators to the main breaker in your home. Use them only to run necessary appliances and plug the appliance into the generator.
Florida Power and Light may have information that may help you determine when power will be back in your area.
Media and public can follow Charlotte County Emergency Management important emergency information at www.charlottecountyfl.gov, www.facebook.com/oemcharlottecounty, and www.twitter.com/ccoem.