Hurricane Survival Guide: Hurricane FAQ's

Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images
Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Q- Should people who evacuate do anything special to help minimize damage to the electric and plumbing systems in their homes?

A- If you plan to evacuate, turn off the circuit breakers for the water heater. Also, consider turning off power to your home at the main electrical panel, and turning off water at the home's main service valve.

Q- Once a storm has passed, should you immediately call the Electric Company to report a power outage?

A- Following major storms, Electric Companies know when large areas are without power. Call only for emergency situations, such as downed power lines.

Q- If a storm approaches will homeowners be able to purchase Flood Insurance to protect their homes?

A- In most cases there is a 30-day waiting period from the time an insurance policy is issued to when it goes into effect, so your home or business would not be insured against flooding from the impending hurricane.

Q- If you have evacuated your home during a storm, can you immediately return to your property once the storm has passed?

A- Do not return to your home until local authorities say it is safe. Even after the hurricane and after the flood waters recede, roads may be weakened and could collapse. Buildings may be unstable, and drinking water may be contaminated.

Q- Should a storm damage your home or property, how soon should you call your insurance company?

A- Once a storm has passed and your family is safe you should immediately contact your insurer as some companies place time limits on filing claims.

Q- If a "Boil Water" notice is issued, but power is out, how do people make sure their water is safe?

A- If you cannot boil water, use bleach to purify water for drinking. Use regular chlorine bleach without added fragrances. Follow the purification directions on the label. If none are given, use two drops of bleach per quart of water, or 8 drops per gallon of water. Let the water stand for 30 minutes. Also, Clorox says you can make a good sanitizing solution to wash and disinfect dishes, countertops, etc. by mixing one teaspoon of bleach in one gallon of water.