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Safety After the Storm

Keesler experienced some damage due to Hurricane Gustav. Some areas are hazardous - you must take precautions. You will be released from your shelter or return from your "Safe Haven" at the safest and earliest possible time. Please proceed smartly as you conduct personal risk assessments of your home and surroundings. It would be tragic to survive the hurricane only to hurt yourself or have your spouse or child injured. Please ensure you are aware of possible hazards which may be present on and off base as you return to the local area. 

When returning to inspect your residence use the Wingman concept. If possible, take someone with you. If not, notify your Squadron UCC or chain of command before you approach your home. Proceed with caution. Visually inspect the exterior of your residence. Listen for any voices or noise that may be coming from inside your home. Look for signs of forced entry (broken windows, kicked in doors). If there are any signs of forced entry call your local police department. If someone is inside your residence, do not enter--call 911! If your residence suffered damage, prepare a list of damaged items and secure your quarters. 

DO 

· DO-Use extreme caution on the roadways and watch for sinkholes, downed trees and other debris obstructing roads
· DO- Treat all intersection with down traffic control as four-way stops
· DO- Avoid downed electrical lines, poles and transformers - they may be live
· DO- Use extreme caution when entering your home. Always ensure you have a wingman present. If your carpet or walls are wet, do not turn on any lights or appliances (the same holds true if there is standing water in the home!). Ensure electrical appliances, computers, TVs, radios, etc. are completely dry before plugging them in
· Extensive environmental damage and disruptions may have occurred. Wild animals are confused and defensive...driven from their homes by inclement weather. Snakes, rodents, mammals and insects may be encountered. Leave them alone! They are not pets. Do not corner them, avoid them.
· DO- Watch for snakes in piles of debris
· DO- Watch for bees/wasps in fallen trees
· DO- Use extreme cautious when using a chainsaw to cut fallen trees
Review operating instructions
Wear protective clothing
Watch for others
· DO- Be alert for hanging or falling objects and sharp objects
· DO- Supervise children closely. The current state of the community may not be the safe environment we are accustomed to. Demonstrate your love and concern by instructing your children on potential hazards. 

DON'T 

· DON'T- Use gas lamp lanterns or open flames for illumination in your quarters. Use battery operated flashlights
· DON'T- Use camp stoves inside your home. If power is out the food in refrigerators and freezers is most likely spoiled and not safe to eat
· DON'T- Use tap water as it may be unsafe to drink, wait for official verification that it is safe to drink. If you are not sure if your water is safe, ask the appropriate agency.
· DON'T- Turn on any electric switches if you have gas appliances, use the sniff test first. If you smell gas, extinguish cigarettes, and do not strike lighters/matches! Evacuate the area immediately, call the appropriate gas company from a phone in a different location, do not call from inside home

Your release from the shelter is for you to protect and assess your personal resources. Nothing is more important than the safety of you, your family, and friends. Be smart, stop, and think! Assess your environment and situation. Consider the options to limit risk. Take appropriate action