Irma flooded communities, downed trees and knocked out power for thousands of customers in South Carolina. As the state starts the clean-up process, we're on your side with some tips on what to do post-Irma.
ON THE ROAD/SIDEWALKS
While the storm led to a rush to gas stations across the state, stations will likely resume back to normal soon. However, as some stations see low to no gas, you can locate which are stocked up in your area at tracker.gasbuddy.com.
Downed Trees/Power Lines
Take caution when walking and driving. Downed trees and power lines can lead to a hazardous trek if precautions aren't taken.
• Avoid walking in puddles/flooded waters: Water may be electrically charged from underground or downed power lines and could hide dangerous debris. And it only takes as little as six inches of moving water to knock a person down.
• Take caution when driving. As little as one foot of rushing water can overpower a vehicle and sweep it off a roadway, Always remember, turn around, don't drown.
• If you come across a downed tree in a well-traveled area call 911.
• If your vehicle was struck by a downed tree, contact your auto insurance. You should be covered if you have comprehensive coverage. Read more about that here
• Strong winds knock out windows? Tree fall onto your house? Take caution when surveying the damage! Once you know it's safe, take photos to document damage and contact your homeowners insurance. Read more on what to do if a tree falls onto your home or property here
• Still waiting for your power to come back on? Turn on one of your lights so you'll know when it's restored. And use a flashlight for emergency lighting. Emergency officials warn candles can easily cause fires.
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• If your power was out for more than two hours, you should go through your refrigerator and freezer to remove any potentially spoiled foods. If you kept your doors shut, food can stay safe in a fridge for up to two hours and up to 48 hours in a freezer. Foodsafety.gov provides more details, including a list of foods and how long they'll remain fresh during an outage.
• If you've experienced any flooding inside your home, be sure to turn off your electricity.
• Take caution as flood waters may contain sewage or household chemicals. Wear protective clothing such as waders, waterproof boots and gloves if wading in the water.
• Call your insurance company to see if your home damage is covered since conventional homeowners insurance doesn't typically cover such damage. Once again, be sure to take photos and/or videos to document any damage.
• Beware of mold. FEMA officials say mold can develop within 24 to 48 hours. Read more about how mold can be a danger after flooding here
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