How to Deal with Your Home After a Hurricane
By Victoria Figueiredo
After major storms and hurricanes, a huge concern is damage caused by intense winds and heavy rainfall. When it comes to assessing damage to electrical appliances, gadgets, fallen power lines, etc., your best bet is to stay away, especially if you need to step into floodwater to get to the object in question.
What’s the big problem with going into a flooded home to check on your stuff? You can never tell if the water in your space has been electrified. Currents carried by floodwater can be potentially deadly – if the shock itself doesn’t kill you, you may drown before help is able to reach you safely. Unfortunately, there’s no 100% safe way to figure out whether a body of water is electrified. The best you can do is keep your eyes open for live wires and power lines, but even that is a guessing game at best.
So, what can you do to safely navigate your water damaged home? If you’ve lost power and you’re able to safely reach your electrical panel, make sure you turn off your main breaker before attempting to walk through your home. When you’re doing that, make sure you’re not standing in any sort of water – puddles, flooded carpet, etc. If possible, wear rubber boots and ensure that it’s safe to touch your panel. If it’s sparking or looks water damaged, stay away! Once that’s done, contacting a professional is your safest next step.
Be sure to keep children and pets away from puddles, and never let them run around outside unattended after a major storm – believe us, kids and pets are not aware of the dangers of fallen power lines and they’re definitely not checking around puddles for debris before stomping in them for fun.
Above all else, the takeaway here is to stay away from standing water. Don’t put yourself or your family at risk. Let city or county officials, professional electricians, and power company technicians tell you when it’s safe to re-enter your flooded area!
As you clean up your neighborhood, make sure you check the area around fallen trees or large pieces of debris for fallen power lines. Not only are they more common than you think, even a line that doesn’t look like it’s carrying a charge can still be lethal if touched. Again, focus on cleaning up smaller branches or pieces of debris that are a safe distance away from power lines if you absolutely must get started on the clean-up process. We understand that everyone is desperate to get back to normal life after a natural disaster, but it’s never worth putting your own life at risk.
We urge you to contact professionals and wait for them to get the job done right. They have the training they need to keep your family and loved ones safe.
Feeling the need to beef up your preparedness for the next storm? Don’t take on that task yourself! Give us a call for an estimate on installing transfer switches for generators, adding water-safe GFCI outlets to your home, or giving you a panel assessment to make sure you’re using your power safely. As we accept service calls from the greater Tampa Bay area after Irma, we’d be happy to fit you in. We’re always around to help you out and make sure you’re doing all you can to keep your home and family safe and dry – you lucky devil!