Returning after the storm, if you evacuated, can take some time. Roads may be covered with debris, flooding, and fallen power lines. Listen to local radio and TV stations before trying to return to see what conditions are like in your area and wait until the area is declared safe. Have documentation to prove that you own a home, property or business in the area, as law enforcement may turn you away if you cannot show you belong there.
Make an assessment of any damage to your home/business and property.
Take photos of everything and contact your insurance company as soon as possible.
Do not use any open flames, like candles or lighters, when looking through your damaged property; use a flashlight.
If you see fallen power lines, call the Dixie Electric or 911 immediately. Keep a distance away from downed power lines and always assume the lines are energized! These can be potential hazards and could create further injury and fires.
If you smell gas around your home or business, DO NOT ENTER the structure! Call the gas company or 911 immediately. Again, keep a safe distance away from the structure.
Check on your neighbors and contact emergency services if someone is hurt or trapped. Do not try to remove the person as you could cause more bodily harm or cause a structure to weaken even more.
Report suspicious activity like looting to authorities.
Your power may be out for several hours or even days. If your power is out, please call Dixie Electric to report your outage.
DO NOT USE ANY ELECTRICAL APPLIANCES, OUTLETS OR SWITCHES if there has been any flooding in your home. Have it inspected by an electrician before turning the power back on. Make sure your main switch is off or call Dixie Electric to cut off your power if necessary.
You may need to boil water as the water supplies can become contaminated after a storm like this. Make sure you have plenty of bottled water for drinking and cooking for several days. If your home has extensive damage, it may not be structurally sound and could collapse. Let your insurance company know about your situation.
The American Red Cross can also help you with information on shelters and assistance if you find your home unlivable or unstable.
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