After an Emergency

Do not return to your home until an "All Clear" has been announced through local officials. In areas of heavy damage, re-entry may be controlled by special permit, pass, or documentation in order to verify property ownership. Make sure you have proper identification cards/permits with you in order to show proof of residency/ownership.

Once you return, you should carefully check for structural damage prior to entering any building. Use caution when entering. Look before you step. After a flood, the ground and floors are covered with debris including broken bottles and nails. Floors and stairs can be slippery.

After ensuring that your neighborhood has been cleared to do so, turn on the utilities in your home. Turn the electricity on one breaker at a time and watch for smoke or sparks. Be alert for gas leaks. Use a flashlight to inspect for damage. Never smoke or use candles, lanterns, matches or open flames unless you know the gas has been properly turned off and the entire area is ventilated.

Down powerlines 1

If you have sustained damage that makes staying in your home unsafe, find alternate shelter and have a professional assess and repair the damage.  Avoid loose or dangling power lines and immediately report them to 911.  For power outages in your area, contact Fort Pierce Utilities at 772-466-1600 or Florida Power and Light at 1-800-468-8243.

Although cable lines do not carry any electricity and cannot cause an electric shock, many of the lines are connected to power poles and may contact live power as a result of storm damage.  It is extremely dangerous for anyone to go near these lines.  Once power has been restored to an area, cable company's crews will move in to reconstruct lines and restore services as quickly as possible. 

Do not let children play around high water, storm drains, or ditches.  Besides the danger of drowning, backed up sewage and possible toxic runoff make this water unhealthy.  Clean everything that got wet.  Flood waters have picked up sewage and chemicals from roads, commercial properties, and storage buildings.

Spoiled food, flooded cosmetics, and medicines can be health hazards.  When in doubt, throw it out.

Generator or other gasoline powered equipment outdoors.  The same goes for cooking stoves.  Charcoal fumes are especially deadly and should be outdoors.