Coping with the Aftermath of Hurricane Florence: 8 Safety Tips for North Carolinians
With the most powerful hurricane of the season set to hit us very soon, we urge you to listen to local authorities and evacuate if you have been told to do so. We are all facing multiple threats, ranging from powerful winds, heavy rainfall, storm surges and both coastal and inland flooding.
After the storm has passed and it is safe to return home, please keep these tips in mind.
- Carefully check your property for downed power lines, damaged gas lines or damage to your propane tank and appliances.
- If you smell gas upon returning to your home, business or farm, be sure to extinguish all smoking materials and open flames. Exit the building immediately. Do not operate electrical switches, appliances, telephones, or cell phones because these can cause a spark that can ignite an explosion.
- If indoor or outdoor propane equipment has been flooded, shut off the service valve at the propane tank. Propane-powered household appliances, farm equipment or vehicles that have been underwater should be inspected by a qualified technician before being put back into service.
- Damage to propane regulators and controls is a significant problem resulting from flooding. We recommend a complete inspection of the entire system after heavy rains because water damage to propane equipment and appliances is not always readily apparent.
- Do not relight pilot lights for equipment that has been flooded. Shut off the service valve at the propane tank and contact your propane company to inspect the equipment.
- Never store portable propane tanks indoors.
- Never turn on a light switch, use any power source, or inspect your household appliances while standing in water! This avoids the risk of electrocution.
- Never use outdoor propane appliances indoors or in enclosed areas. This avoids the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.
For more hurricane-related safety tips, please go here.