Stay in a safe room, away from doors and windows.
Turn off electricity if flooding begins.
Use flashlights, not candles, as a light source.
Leave one light on so you'll know when your power returns. Otherwise, turn off or disconnect any appliances or electronics in use when the power went out.
After a storm, inside your home
Check for damage to your home. Use caution. Beware of downed power lines.
Call your insurance agent.
Videotape or photograph your home before making temporary repairs.
Document any repairs and keep the receipts.
Minimize flashlight use to conserve batteries.
If your telephone is working, use it only for emergencies.
Limit the use of cellphones to emergencies.
After a storm, outside your home
Don't allow children to play in standing water -- it could contain harmful bacteria.
Avoid smoking when walking in damaged areas, as gas lines could be leaking.
Wear thick-soled shoes or boots. Broken glass or nails could be underfoot.
On the road
When driving, remember that power outages might be widespread. Stop at all intersections where a traffic light is not working, and proceed with caution.
Never drive through floodwaters. There may be no road left, or the water may carry away your vehicle.
Downed power lines may still be charged or may unexpectedly go "live" as power is restored.
If a line falls on your vehicle while you are in it, stay inside the vehicle until help arrives. The only circumstance in which you should consider leaving a vehicle in contact with a downed power line is if the vehicle catches fire.
If you must escape the vehicle, open the door but do not step out. You may receive a shock. Instead, jump free of the car so that your body clears the vehicle before touching the ground. Once you clear the vehicle, shuffle at least 50 feet away, with both feet on the ground.
Report individual problems with utilities only after neighborhood service has been restored.
When power comes back on, wait a bit before turning on more than a few lights.
Call the power company to make sure it knows your lights are out; don't assume it knows or that someone else has called.
Do not run a generator inside a home or garage. The fumes are dangerous.
Connect the equipment directly to the outlets on the generator.
Do not connect a generator to a home's electrical system.
If the power remains out, consider using food in the refrigerator before it spoils. Discard any food that may have come in contact with floodwaters. The key to saving food is to keep the refrigerator's or freezer's interior cold. Opening the door -- even once and briefly -- will fill it with warm air.
Throw away any food that has a temperature of more than 40 degrees Fahrenheit.
If you cook with a grill, keep it outdoors.
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