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Post-Hurricane Safety and Assistance

2 Nov. 2012 Posted by ameulendyke

If you’re in an area that has been, or is still being impacted by Hurricane Sandy, it’s important to continue to follow these important safety reminders:

• Continue to listen to your local officials – If you evacuated and are returning home, make sure local officials have deemed the area safe to return to. If Sandy is still impacting your area and local officials give the order to evacuate, do so immediately.
• Stay off the roads - Emergency workers may be assisting people in flooded areas or cleaning up debris. You can help them by staying off the roads and out of the way.
• If your power is out, safely use a generator or candles - Never use a generator inside a home, basement, shed or garage even if doors and windows are open. Keep generators outside and far away from windows, doors and vents. Read both the label on your generator and the owner's manual and follow the instructions. If using candles, please use caution. If possible, use flashlights instead. If you must use candles, do not burn them on or near anything that can catch fire.
• Avoid downed power or utility lines - They may be live with deadly voltage. Stay away and report them immediately to your power or utility company.
• Don’t drive or walk through flood waters – It only takes a small amount of water to move people or vehicles. If you encounter a flooded roadway, don’t attempt to pass through water – turn around, don’t drown. And if your home has flood water inside or around it, don’t walk or wade in it. The water may be contaminated by oil, gasoline or raw sewage.

In addition, individuals and business owners who sustained losses in the following counties in New York and New Jersey can begin applying for assistance by registering online or on your phone at www.DisasterAssistance.gov:

• Declared counties in New York: Bronx, Kings, Nassau, New York, Richmond, Suffolk, & Queens.
• Declared counties in New Jersey: Atlantic, Cape May, Essex, Hudson, Middlesex, Monmouth, Ocean & Union Counties

Those impacted can also apply by calling 1-800-621-FEMA(3362) or 1-800-462-7585 (TTY) for the hearing and speech impaired.

In addition to federal disaster assistance being available in several counties, states and localities and the American Red Cross continue to operate emergency shelters in many states. You can search for open shelters by visiting the Red Cross website, downloading the FEMA smartphone app, or by texting the word “shelter” and a zip code to 43362 (4FEMA). For example, if you’re searching for a shelter in the 01234 zip code, you would text Shelter 01234.
 

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