Preparing for a hurricane is difficult. Putting up shutters and hoarding water and snacks can be time-consuming and frustrating. However, most forget about what to do afterwards. Preparation is key to survival, but knowing how to remain safe after a hurricane is just as important. Read on for some great tips to keep you and your family safe after a major storm.

Stay Alert

Do not assume the storm has passed completely. Oftentimes there is extended rainfall and continued flooding, even when the worst has come and gone. Be prepared for this and stay updated by watching your local news or listening to the radio if power is out.

Make sure your family and close friends know you are safe. If power and service is out, utilize the American Red Cross database at 1-800-RED-CROSS or go to for more information. Knowing your family and friends are safe will calm you and make post-hurricane recovery easier.

Returning Home

If you chose to evacuate your home, return only after it is declared safe to do so. It is important to ensure that officials have cleared major roads of any debris, which can be life-threatening. Remember that the safety of you and your family will always come first. If you are unable to return home but need shelter, text SHELTER+ and your zip code to 43362 to find the nearest shelter to you.

When you are able to return to your home after an evacuation, do an inspection upon arriving. Ensure there are no gas leaks, fallen power lines or structural damage to your home. If you spot any issues, alert local authorities before entering.

If your home suffered damage from the storm and needs repair, apply for assistance as soon as possible. Go to in order to request services and grants to aid in this process. Contact Berman Law Group for information regarding property damage claims. If your home is uninhabitable, use the FEMA site to search for replacement housing sources.

Leave Home Only if Necessary

Only leave your home if absolutely necessary. If it is declared safe to do so, be sure to stay away from any flooded roads or weakened infrastructure. Damaged bridges, roads, walls and sidewalks should all be avoided. Stay away from fallen debris and electrical wires. If wires are visible, call your power company to report them.

Be cautious of allowing pets and children outside. Stay away from puddles and flooded areas, as dangerous objects can be hidden inside. Small areas of water are excellent hiding spots for fallen power lines, which can electrocute if entered.

Safety without Power

Wait for authorities to determine when the local tap water is drinkable. If you are unsure of its state, opt for bottled water. If bottled water is not available, boil tap water before using.

Absolutely never use a generator inside your home. This includes garages, small spaces and sheds. Open windows and doors are not acceptable excuses. The expulsion of carbon monoxide is odorless, tasteless, invisible and deadly. Ensure that your generator is in open air and away from any windows or open doors.

Cleaning Up

When cleaning up debris, make sure to use protective clothing. Gloves, sunglasses, sneakers and pants are all necessary in proving protection. Be cautious of large debris piles, as they may contain hidden animals.

Post-hurricane recovery can be overwhelming. The important thing to remember is that your family is safe. The ordeal is almost over and soon it will be possible to go back to your daily lives. Remember that safety is always first priority. If you are ever in doubt of you or your family’s safety, call 911 immediately for assistance.

We at Next Level SEM are glad you and your family are safe from Hurricane Irma and wish you a safe rest of the hurricane season.

The Storm Has Passed: What to do Post-Hurricane