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Wednesday, July 31, 2013

The Storm is Over ... Know What to Do Next ....

Now that you've read our blog about preparing for a hurricane, you're half way through the battle. But what do you do after the hurricane? Do you have a plan in place for the dangers that still exist?

If you've traveled to be safe during the storm, before you return home, you should find out if local authorities have declared your neighborhood safe. Flooding, downed power lines, damaged roads or other unsafe obstacles could be surrounding your home. In fact, these threats could be along the roads to your neighborhood, even if your neighborhood was declared safe. You should map your journey well, based on as much information as you can find regarding the roads that lead you home. Stay tuned to local radio stations and while traveling keep a window open to be able to hear any emergency sirens or other signals.

Avoid night travels to the best of your ability. Road debris and sinkholes could present hidden danger in the dark of night and remember it will be darker than you expect without street lights. Also, following a storm, wild animals and rodents become more prominent and could even be taking shelter in your home. Authorities will schedule curfews for all cities affected by the hurricane, usually at dusk.

Understandably, you will be eager to get home to secure your possessions and make sure your property is all right. But don't make hasty decisions you may regret such as driving or wading through standing water. Lurking underneath that water could be large debris, sinkholes or even dangerous animals such as poisonous snakes or alligators. Even if you have a sport utility vehicle that should be able to drive through standing water, it could stall which causes damage to the vehicle and forces you to walk through these dangerous waters.

One of the largest threats after a hurricane is fallen power lines. Do not drive over them! If a power line falls on your vehicle while you are driving, continue to drive away from the danger. If your vehicle stalls, do NOT turn off the ignition and do NOT get out of your vehicle. Wait for emergency rescue and warn others to keep their distance from your vehicle due to potential danger.

When you have reached your destination, your home, you must first realize that even if it looks safe from the outside it may not be safe inside. Before entering, try your best to do an outside inspection of the home to see if there is any structural damage that would make it unsafe for entry. But also, please remember, there may be structural damage that is not visible from your point of view and you should still use caution when entering the home. When you enter your home, remember to avoid attempts to use any electricity and also avoid using lighters or matches in case there is a potential gas leak. If you should smell gas, exit immediately and alert authorities. If your home feels like it is shifting or you hear unusual noises, this may be a signal that the home could collapse and you should exit immediately. If it smells as if something is burning but you see no evidence of fire, try to shut off your electrical box or your home's main circuit breaker and exit the home.

Do not hook up a generator to your home's wiring without having it checked by an electrician first. What appears safe or undamaged may not actually be and only a certified electrician can advise on whether or not it is safe. You should always have an electrician check your home following a hurricane, even if your home appears safe.

You will probably be eager to clean up your home, but be sure that you follow the proper procedures before you do so. It will be important that you wear protective clothing including gloves, boots and face masks. Flood waters or high winds may have shifted chemical containers. Avoid inhaling chemical fumes. Be cautious of explosive items. We recommend you carry a fire extinguisher with you to be extra safe. Remember, water supplies and emergency services will be crippled at this time so it's better to be prepared.

Your water supply is likely tainted and should not be used for cleaning, cooking or drinking. Be sure to bring plenty of bottled water with you for your return home.
For more valuable advice about your return home after a hurricane, visit the Center of Disease Control's website at: . Also, keep watching our blog for useful information about preparing for the storm and making an insurance claim after the storm. SouthGroup Insurance Services is your local insurance family. We've been through the storms of the past together, and we are invested in the storms of your future.

P.S. Our HURRICANE SUPPLIES AND $20 GIFT CARD CONTEST is underway and will be open for entries through Aug 2 at 4pm. CLICK HERE TO ENTER!!! AND PLEASE LIKE OUR SOUTHGROUP FACEBOOK PAGE!!

For more information, like our facebook page at:
We will be posting more tips for before, during and after the storm. There you can find our contest to WIN HURRICANE SUPPLIES AND A $20 WALMART GIFT CARD (prize must be picked up at one of the 3 SouthGroup Gulf Coast locations- Bay St Louis, Biloxi or Diamondhead) -- all you need to to is CLICK THE PIC AND LIKE IT to be entered to win --- hurry because the contest ends at 4pm on Aug 2!

If you are on the Gulf Coast, contact your Trusted Choice agent, SouthGroup-Gulf Coast / , SERVICE TEAM: Angelyn Treutel, Tammy Garfield, Dawn Garza, Tammy Hogue, Brittany Jones, Wendy Johnson, Denise Russell, Melissa Moran, Alex Treutel, Susan Monti, Kayleigh Davis, Anne Gillam, Ashlie Moody, and Whitney Zimmerman at SouthGroup Gulf Coast. You can reach us by snail-mail: 412 Hwy 90, Suite 6, Bay St Louis MS 39520, email: , phone:228-466-4498, fax:888-415-8922,

FaceBook , or Twitter ! We now have 3 locations to serve you - 2505 Pass Road - Biloxi, 5400 Indian Hill-Diamondhead, and 412 Hwy 90 Ste 6-Bay Saint Louis, MS.

Thanks to Susan Monti for her words of wisdom!



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