After The Hurricane
What to Do After a Hurricane
- Continue listening for information and instructions on local radio or television stations or a NOAA Weather Radio.
In New Bedford, Government Access Channel 18 and WBSM-AM 1420 will be your best source for up-to-the minute local information and instructions.
- If you evacuated, return home when local officials tell you it is safe. Local officials on the scene are your best source of information on accessible areas and passable roads.
- Stay alert for extended rainfall and subsequent flooding, even after the hurricane or tropical storm has weakened. Hurricanes may stall or change direction when they make landfall, or they may bring a lot of rain upriver, causing additional flood hazards for hours or days after the storm.
- Stay away from flood waters. Drive only if absolutely necessary and avoid flooded roads and washed-out bridges. Continue to follow all flood safety messages. If you come upon a flooded road, turn around and go another way.
- Help injured or trapped persons. Give first aid where appropriate. Do not move seriously injured persons unless they are in immediate danger of further injury. Call for help.
- Help a neighbor who may require special assistance–infants, elderly people, and people with disabilities. Elderly people and people with disabilities may require additional assistance. People who care for them or who have large families may need additional assistance in emergency situations.
- Avoid disaster areas. Your presence might hamper rescue and other emergency operations, and put you at further risk from the residual effects of floods, such as contaminated waters, crumbled roads, landslides, mudflows, and other hazards.
- Avoid loose or dangling power lines; immediately report them to the power company, police, or fire department. New Bedford residents should report downed power lines to NSTAR Electric at 800-642-7070.
Reporting potential hazards will get the utilities turned off as quickly as possible, preventing further hazard and injury.
- Stay out of the building if water remains around the building. Flood waters often undermine foundations, causing buildings to sink, floors to crack, or walls to collapse.
- When entering buildings, use extreme caution. Hurricane-driven flood waters may have damaged buildings where you least expect it. Carefully watch every step you take. Wear sturdy shoes. The most common injury following a disaster is cut feet.
Inspecting Utilities in a Damaged Home
- Open windows and doors to ventilate and dry your home.
- Electrical equipment should be checked and dried before being returned to service. Call an electrician for advice before using electricity, which may have received water damage.
- Check refrigerated food for spoilage. If power was lost, some foods may be spoiled.
- Avoid drinking or preparing food with tap water until you are certain it is not contaminated. Local officials should advise you on the safety of the drinking water. Undamaged water heaters or melted ice cubes can provide good sources of fresh drinking water.
- Use the telephone only for emergency calls. Telephone lines are frequently overwhelmed in disaster situations. They need to be clear for emergency calls to get through.