When the winds die down and the downpours stop, the worst of the storm is not necessarily over.
So remain vigilant and cautious. Many people survive a storm only to die in accidents after it passes.
Of the more than 70 Floridians who died after 2004's Charley, Frances and Ivan, many were victims of the aftermath. They were killed by downed trees and power lines as well as falling debris, power failures, carbon-monoxide poisoning and tumbles from trees, roofs and ladders. The same was true when Hurricane Wilma struck South Florida in 2005.
So be cautious. Be careful of the matches you light, what you climb onto, where you walk. Don't drive unless you know the roads have been cleared. Indeed, stay at home unless you absolutely must be out.
Here are some tips to keep you and your family safe:
▪ Be careful where you step. Watch out for snakes, wildlife and insects that have been driven to higher ground.
▪ Approach every intersection without a working traffic light as though it is a four-way stop. If two or more vehicles reach the intersection at the same time, the driver of the vehicle on the left yields to the driver on the right.
▪ Beware of the possibility of traffic lights or utility poles falling.
▪ Use flashlights, not candles.
CHAIN SAW SAFETY
If your city or county issues a boil-water order after the storm, you can still use tap water for bathing, but be careful if you have cuts or scrapes. Use purified water for brushing your teeth, drinking and cooking.
Here are ways to disinfect water to kill disease-carrying microorganisms:
▪ Boiling: It's safest. Bring water to a roiling boil for 10 minutes. It will taste better if you put oxygen back into it by pouring it back and forth between two clean containers.