Even after the hurricane passes, the danger still lingers. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offered a list of ways to navigate the post-storm perils, whether it’s by avoiding floodwater and building debris or taking care of your mental health.

Here’s how the CDC said you can effectively keep yourself and others safe in the wake of a hurricane.

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Avoid floodwater

  • Always follow warnings and signs about flooded roads

  • Do not drive in flooded areas as your vehicle will not protect you, leading to you sweeping away or stalling in moving water

  • If you are in or near floodwater, wear a lifejacket

  • Wash or disinfect your hands if you have been in floodwater as it can contain contaminants harmful to your health, including germs, dangerous chemicals, human and livestock waste, wild or stray animals, downed power lines and other pollutants that can make you sick

Do not use a wet electrical device

  • Turn off the power at the main breaker in your house if the device is still plugged in and wait for an electrician to check the device before using it

If the power is out, use flashlights instead of candles

  • If you have to light candles, keep them away from anything that can catch fire and monitor them

  • Make sure you have a fire extinguisher handy and your family knows how to use it. You can read the National Fire Protection Association’s tips for using fire extinguishers by clicking here

Prevent carbon monoxide poisoning

  • Know that fuel-burning equipment, like generators, pressure washers, charcoal grills and camp stoves creates carbon monoxide that you can’t smell or see. Carbon monoxide buildup in the home can cause illness or even death
  • Do not use portable gasoline or coal-burning equipment or camp stoves inside your home, basement or garage. You must keep it outside and at least 20 feet from any window, door or vent

  • Use a battery-operated or battery backup carbon monoxide detector any time you use a generator or anything else that burns fuel during hurricane season.

  • If you have a carbon monoxide detector and it starts beeping, leave your home immediately and call 911

Be careful near damaged buildings

  • Do not enter a damaged building until local authorities deem it safe as hurricanes can damage buildings, creating various hazards

  • Leave your home or building if you hear shifting or unusual noises, which could mean the building is about to fail

Stay away from power lines

  • Keep an eye out for failed power lines that may be hanging overhead and stay clear of them

  • Call the electric company to report failed power lines

Protect yourself from wild animals, pests

  • Stay away from wild or stray animals after a storm. If you see one, call 911 or your public health department to report them

  • Report dead animals to local officials

Drink safe water, eat safe food

  • Throw away any food that may have come in contact with flood or storm water. Unsafe food can make you sick even if it looks, smells and tastes normal. Additionally, throw away any perishable foods that have not been refrigerated properly due to power outages and discard foods with an unusual odor, color or texture. When in doubt, throw it out, the CDC said

  • Listen to reports from local officials for advisories on water precautions in your home. Do not use water you think or have been told is contaminated to prepare baby formula, make ice, brush your teeth, wash and prepare food, wash your hands or wash dishes

  • Bottled, boiled or treated water are safe for drinking, cooking and personal hygiene. Turn to your state, tribal, local or territorial health department for specific recommendations for boiling or treating water in your area

Wash your hands, practice good personal hygiene

  • Good basic personal hygiene and handwashing are imperative in helping prevent the spread of illness and disease

  • Clean, safe running water is essential for proper hygiene and handwashing. It is especially important after an emergency like a hurricane, but finding clean, safe running water can sometimes be hard

Take care of any wounds or injuries to prevent infection

  • The risk for injury during and after a hurricane and other natural disasters is high, so get first aid quickly to help heal small wounds and prevent infection

Clean up your home safely

Take care of your emotional health

  • During and after a hurricane, physical health isn’t the only thing to prioritize. It is natural to experience different and strong emotions throughout a disaster and important to cope with these feelings and get help when needed

  • Connect with family, friends, and others in your community after a natural disaster

  • Take care of yourself and others emotionally, and know when and how to seek help