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Preventing Injuries During, After Hurricanes, Storms

By Deanne Katz, Esq. on October 31, 2012 8:43 AM

Hurricane Sandy is ramping up in parts of the country and one of the threats she's bringing is a risk of injuries from sources that are otherwise safe.

It's not just hurricanes that bring about added danger. Snow storms, tornados, and other natural disasters can leave you in a dangerous position. The biggest risk is that you won't know what to look out for.

Besides making sure you're covered by insurance in case of damage to your home, there are other things you need to think about when it comes to weathering the storm.

  • Bad food. It's normally easy to keep food out of the danger zone (above 40 degrees Fahrenheit) by keeping it in the fridge or freezer. But that becomes more difficult when the power goes out. Be aware of how warm the fridge gets and throw out perishables that stay there too long.

  • Contaminated water. Flooding and storms can also get into the drinking water and mess with the purification systems in place. Be aware of any notices that drinking water may be unsafe and keep some purification tablets or bottled water available for drinking. If what comes out of the tap looks dirty, don't drink it.

  • Mold. When there's a big storm there's always a possibility of flooding, something that's already happening with Sandy. Water inside your house not only causes immediate damage, it can also lead to mold. That can cause respiratory issues and other illness for you and your family. If water gets in, make sure it gets out and check the area for moisture and mold for a few weeks after you think it's dry.

  • Tree damage. High wind, heavy rain or snow, and lightning can lead to tree branches or whole trunks falling. If your home is in the way when it falls that can lead to serious damage to your roof and the walls. If you know a part of the house is under a branch that could fall, try to avoid that area during the storm. Prevention is also key so clip back long or dead branches that overhang your house before the storm if possible.

  • Broken Windows. Along with falling trees and other debris comes the possibility of a window breaking. Not only does that mean wind, rain, and snow could get in, it also means broken glass on the floor. If possible, close up the room with the broken glass until the weather clears. If you can't, try keep the broken glass contained and avoid it until the storm lifts enough for you to start clearing up.

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