The Storm Has Passed. Now What?
Thankfully, we were spared the worst of Hurricane Idalia here in Jacksonville Beach. But knowing that hurricane season doesn’t officially end until Nov. 30, we’re not in the clear quite yet. After a tropical storm or hurricane sweeps through the area, there are certain things you should do right away. Here are the most important steps to take immediately following a storm or hurricane.
1. Wait to make sure the storm has actually passed before stepping outside. Do not venture outside if it’s still windy. It’s important to keep in mind that at this point, there is a lot of debris that can go flying into the air. Things that were secure and in place prior to the storm (signage, roofing material, toys, tree branches, etc.) are now loose debris that can become airborne.
2. If you evacuated, do not return until local officials give the green light. Some areas will have specific requirements for re-entry, so stay where you are until the roads are safe and officially open for travel.
3. Do a safety assessment of your home. Check for things like downed power lines, flooded areas, etc. If you smell gas or notice another hazard, leave the area immediately and call for emergency assistance. If you’re hesitant to do something because you’re not sure if it’s safe, call a professional. For example, if your air conditioner appears to be damaged and you’re not sure whether it’s safe to try to start it up, give our HVAC company in Jacksonville Beach, FL, a call.
4. Stay connected to friends and family. Let them know you are safe. This sounds like common sense, but in the midst of the chaos and shock that comes after natural disasters, we can sometimes forget to let others know we’re safe and free from danger.
5. Do NOT walk through floodwater. Raw sewage, animals, bacteria and downed power lines are all reasons to not walk through floodwater. This is not an extension of the ocean. The water is now contaminated by all sorts of hazards that are dangerous and can even be fatal.
6. Do not use the tap water until officials say it’s safe to do so. This is why it’s so important to stock up on bottled water before a storm. The water supply might have been compromised during the storm. Stay connected to the local news and wait until officials say it’s safe to drink the water and use it for cooking.
7. NEVER use a wet electrical device. Turn off the power at the breaker if the device is still plugged in. Do not use the device until it’s been examined by an electrician.
8. If you’re relying on a generator, ALWAYS run the generator outside and away from windows, doors and vents. Using a generator in an enclosed area will release carbon monoxide into the air, which is a deadly, odorless and colorless gas.
9. Take pictures. Document as much damage as you can for insurance purposes.
10. Stay strong. Don’t try to do too much too quickly. Recovering from a hurricane both physically and mentally will take time. Stay connected to family and friends and use their support to get through this difficult period.
If You Need Us, We’re Here!
Are you unsure whether your air conditioner has been damaged? We do more than provide heating and AC services here in Jacksonville, FL. We provide peace of mind, too. Whether you’re trying to turn your unit back on or you notice something unusual after starting it back up, don’t hesitate to give us a call. We’re here to help get everything back to normal so you can put the storm behind you as quickly as possible.
Schedule service online or call Buehler Air Conditioning directly today.