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Post Hurricane Safety

Navigating the aftermath of a hurricane requires careful planning and erring on the side of caution.

Hurricanes are nature's wrecking balls, leaving a path of destruction in their wake. But just because the hurricane has passed and the winds have died down, doesn't mean the danger has vanished. Post-hurricane safety is essential, especially if you're traveling through a ravaged area. At the end of our article you will find resources to help you prepare and recover after a hurricane. We will provide links for both Sarasota and Manatee county resources. So, read on for what you need to know to navigate the aftermath:

Wait for the Official "All Clear"

Authorities prioritize public safety. They'll issue an "all clear" notice when it's safe to venture outside. Downed power lines, debris-filled roads, and damaged structures pose serious threats. Buildings may be structurally unsound, and hidden dangers like exposed nails or compromised gas lines can lurk beneath the debris. Wait for the official green light before stepping outside.

Beware of Floodwaters and Hidden Hazards

Flooding is a major post-hurricane danger. Floodwaters can be deceptively deep and fast-moving, capable of sweeping away cars and people. Never drive through flooded roads. Even a few inches of moving water can be enough to stall a vehicle, leaving you stranded in a dangerous situation. If you encounter floodwaters, turn around and find another route.

Floodwaters can also be contaminated with sewage, debris, or chemicals. Avoid wading through them, and keep children and pets away. If your home has flooded, wear protective clothing, including rubber boots and gloves, when entering.

Stay Informed and Heed Local Advisories

After the storm, reliable information is crucial. Stay tuned to local news outlets, weather reports, and emergency broadcasts for updates on road closures, evacuation orders, and available shelters. Local authorities will have the most up-to-date information on the situation and any potential hazards. Heed all warnings and restrictions put in place for your safety.

Power Down, Stay Safe

Downed power lines are a hidden danger after a hurricane. These electrified wires can cause serious injury or death if touched. Treat ALL downed lines as if they are live, and stay far away from them. If you see one, report it to the authorities immediately.

If you must enter a building that may have electrical damage, turn off the power at the main breaker box before entering. Use a flashlight for illumination, and avoid using any appliances or fixtures until an electrician has inspected the wiring for safety.

Protect Yourself from Debris and Hazards

Hurricane winds can leave behind a dangerous mess of debris, including broken glass, roofing materials, and sharp objects. Wear sturdy shoes, long pants, and gloves when navigating affected areas. This will help protect you from cuts, scrapes, and punctures. Be mindful of loose power lines, damaged buildings, and uneven surfaces that could cause slips, trips, and falls.

Watch Out for Mold Growth

Damp conditions after a hurricane can lead to rapid mold growth. Mold exposure can cause respiratory problems,especially for those with allergies or asthma. If you see visible mold, avoid the area and wear a mask if you must enter. Mold remediation is a job for professionals, so contact a qualified company to handle the cleanup.

Traveling Through a Hurricane-Ravaged Area? Prepare and Proceed with Caution

If travel is absolutely necessary, proceed with extreme caution. Here are some additional tips to keep yourself safe on the road:

  • Plan Your Route Carefully: Don't rely on GPS alone and if cell service is affected, GPS may not be available. Major roads are more likely to be passable, so stick to those whenever possible. Law enforcement and county officials will be helping people to navigate safe passage. Check traffic reports for closures and delays. Be prepared for detours and allow extra time for your trip.

  • Fill Up Your Gas Tank: Gas stations may be closed or have limited supplies in the aftermath of a hurricane. Think post Hurricane Ian when there was no power so gas stations could not pump gas. Be prepared by having a full tank in your vehicle and having additional fuel helps to ensure that you don't get stranded in an area with limited resources.

  • Pack an Emergency Kit: Be prepared for anything. Include water, non-perishable food, a first-aid kit,medications, a flashlight, a battery-powered radio, and a cellphone charger in your emergency kit. Consider solar options for charging devices as it could be days or weeks before power is restored to your area. Water consumption should be planned for as well with most people needing a gallon per day but bear in mind if you are performing clean up activities, you may consume more.

  • Stay Informed: Keep your phone charged and monitor weather reports and local advisories for updates on road conditions and potential hazards. This will help you stay aware of any developing situations and make informed decisions about your travel.

Remember, the aftermath of a hurricane is no time for sightseeing. If you can postpone your travel, do so. But if travel is essential, prioritize your safety by following these tips and staying alert to your surroundings. By being prepared and informed, you can navigate the post-hurricane landscape safely. In our next post, we will discuss post hurricane recovery and how renting a roll off dumpster from Patriot Dumpster to dispose of all of the debris from the storm will expedite your recovery.

To sign up for emergency alerts visit:

For Sarasota County visit:

For full disaster preparedness information visit:

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