TEXAS CITY, Texas -- Flood dangers do not end when the water begins to recede, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) that has been working with the Governor's Division of Emergency Services (GDEM) because of Hurricane Ike.
With the state's history of flooding, Texans need to know what to do after a hurricane.
"Being part of a community means being helpful to others," said Gary Jones, FEMA's acting administrator for Region 6. "You are encouraged to take a first aid or EMT course, once you have secured your family, check on a neighbor. By doing these things you become more than prepared, you become an asset to your community because of the skills you possess."
After a hurricane
Listen to a radio or television and don't return home until authorities indicate it is safe to do so.
Remember to help your neighbors who may require special assistance - infants, elderly people and people with disabilities.
- If your home, apartment or business has suffered damage, call the insurance company or agent who handles your flood insurance policy right away to file a claim.
- Before entering a building, inspect foundations for cracks or other damage. Don't go in if there is any chance of the building collapsing.
- Upon entering the building, don't use matches, cigarette lighters or any other open flames, because gas may be trapped inside. Instead, use a flashlight to light your way.
- Keep power off until an electrician has inspected your system for safety.
- Floodwaters pick up sewage and chemicals from roads, farms and factories. If your home has been flooded, protect your family's health by cleaning up your house right away. Throw out foods and medicines that may have met floodwater.
- Until local authorities proclaim your water supply to be safe, boil water for drinking and food preparation vigorously for two minutes before using.
- Be careful walking around. After a flood, steps and floors are often slippery with mud and covered with debris, including nails and broken glass.
- Take steps to reduce your risk of future floods. Make sure to follow local building codes and ordinances when rebuilding, and use flood-resistant materials and techniques to protect yourself and your property from future flood damage.
FEMA Hurricane Preparedness Web page: www.fema.gov/hazard/hurricane/hu_season09.shtm
FEMA leads and supports the nation in a risk-based, comprehensive emergency management system of preparedness, protection, response, recovery, and mitigation, to reduce the loss of life and property and protect the nation from all hazards including natural disasters, acts of terrorism, and other man-made disaster.