What to Do After a Hurricane Disaster

Inspecting Damage

Inspecting damage of housing after hurricane disasterAfter contacting your insurance agent, start photographing the damage caused by the hurricane disaster. This can be done on many mobile phones. The sooner the better. You’ll need proof to back up your damage claim.

It’s important to do this before cleaning up. Depending on the terms of your policy, there may be a difference between “acts of God” (such as a hurricane) and damage created by human hands post-disaster. This could include your own clean-up efforts, looting or some other intentional act.

If you’re inspecting damage in low-light conditions, use a battery-powered flashlight. Turn it on before entering a building, just in case there are flammable gases inside that you haven’t yet detected. Don’t use candles.

Always wear protective clothing and move about with caution. A good idea is to use a walking stick. Test the area in front of you before walking into it. Remember that structural damage in buildings can weaken floors.

Medicine

There isn’t a fool-proof solution for those who need refills of prescription drugs. Following the hurricane disasters of 2005 in the southern United States, the website ICERx.org (In Case of Emergency Prescriptions) was founded by a number of medical organizations. The aim was to create a comprehensive prescription database pharmacies could pull from to fill scripts post-disaster.

However, this initiative wasn’t sanctioned by the federal government and raised privacy concerns. This writer cannot determine whether ICERx.org is still operational. Its website doesn’t appear to be functioning and its phone number does not connect.

Regardless of whether such a program exists, the best way to refill prescriptions is to have your script number on-hand. This code, quickly found on pharmacy-issued container labeling, allows pharmacists to easily find and fill your prescription. Not having this information means filling up could take much longer.

In some cases, pharmacies may issue emergency prescriptions regardless of whether your information can be located. Don’t count on it. Have your prescription number with you.

Food & Water

There are many avenues food and water may be made available to you post-disaster. Hopefully, you already have a survival kit that takes care of these needs. Relief agencies may also be distributing these critical resources.

The thing to watch for is tainted food and water. If refrigerated foods reach more than 40 degrees Fahrenheit, throw them away. That usually means two hours for meats in the fridge and four hours for most other items. This chart from FoodSafety.gov spells out exactly when food in the fridge is no longer safe to eat.

Water lines can become contaminated post-hurricane disaster. Don’t drink out of the tap until you are 100% positive it is potable. If you have to, boil water.

Your Turn: What Post-Hurricane Disaster Tips Can You Offer?

Although they could apply to many natural events, these tips are only a sampling of what to do after a hurricane disaster. What post-hurricane disaster tips can you share? Post them in the comments below or join this discussion on GunForums.com.

 


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