After the storm passes, you still need to remain aware and alert. Return home only after authorities say it is safe to do so, and beware of downed or loose power lines. If you do encounter down lines, report them immediately to the power company, police or fire department.
Remember to enter your home with caution: open windows and doors to ventilate or dry your home, and check for gas leaks. If you smell gas or hear a blowing or hissing noise, quickly leave the building and leave the doors open. Call the gas company.
Look for electrical system damage. If you see sparks or frayed wires, turn off electricity at the main fuse box. If you have to step in water to reach the electric box, call an electrician for advice.
Check for sewage and water-line damage. If you suspect there is such damage, call the water company and avoid using water or toilets until they come.
In the aftermath of hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005, Habitat For Humanity, a nonprofit organization has helped, along with their partners and volunteers, rebuild thousands of homes in the storms' hardest hit areas in Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas. Habitat has built 2,219 homes with an additional 994 repaired by its partners and volunteers.
Learn more about the work of work of Habitat for Humanity in the Gulf