What To Do After a Hurricane

ByABC News

July 30, 2005 -- -- The winds and rains of a violent hurricane may have passed, but danger still exists. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offers the following safety advice for homeowners returning to their property after a major storm.

Find out if local authorities have declared your neighborhood safe. Officials may close certain roads due to flooding or suspected road damage. Be aware if there are specific routes you need to take and if authorities have established assembly points for residents in your area.

If power lines fall on your vehicle while driving, continue to drive away from the danger. If your vehicle stalls, do not turn off the ignition and DO NOT get out. Wait for emergency rescue personnel and warn other bystanders away from your vehicle and potential danger.

Do NOT turn on any lights, smoke, light matches or do anything that could cause a spark. Do NOT return to your house until you are told it is safe to do so.

If you are bitten by an animal, seek medical attention immediately.

Watch out for an increased presence of rats and other rodents which may feed off spoiled food or animal carcasses. Contact animal control authorities for information on how to dispose dead animals found on your property.

For more information on food safety concerns following a hurricane, check the Food and Drug Administration's Web site:http://www.cfsan.fda.gov/~dms/fsdisas.html.

You can purify water by boiling it vigorously — it should be bubbling and rolling for at least one minute. If you can't boil water, add six drops of ordinary, unscented household bleach per gallon of contaminated water and stir well. Let the water stand for 30 minutes before use. Bleach alone will not kill parasitic organisms or make the water potable.

More safety information and tips can be found at the CDC Web site at http://www.bt.cdc.gov/disasters/hurricanes.

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