Although an emergency may be over, it is important to remain updated with the latest emergency information. You should also be aware of any additional emergency alerts or notifications from the City of Worcester's Emergency Alert Notification System, ALERTWorcester. Follow these suggestions for staying safe after an emergency:
- Remain indoors until an official "all clear" is given.
- Do not touch fallen or low-hanging wires of any kind under any circumstances. Stay away from puddles with wires in/near them. Do not touch trees or other objects in contact with power lines.
- USE PHONES ONLY FOR EMERGENCIES. Call 911 only for life-threatening situations.
- Call police or utility companies immediately to report hazards such as downed power lines, broken gas or water mains, etc.
- If you question the structural integrity of a building or bridge, do NOT go inside or travel on the structure. Please refer to the City of Worcester Department of Inspectional Services.
- After power is restored, check refrigerated food for spoilage.
- Do not operate charcoal grills, propane camping stoves or generators indoors.
- Use flashlights. Do not light matches or turn on electrical switches if you suspect damage.
- If you smell gas or suspect a leak, turn off the main gas valve, open windows and get everyone outside quickly.
- Shut off any other damaged utilities (you will need a professional to turn gas back on).
- Inspect your home for any dangers.
- Clean up spilled medicines, bleaches, gasoline and other flammable liquids immediately. If you are concerned of how to dispose of certain medicines, please refer to the Division of Public Health's Medication Safety Brochure.
- Take pictures of damage, both to the house and its contents for insurance claims.
- Only travel if absolutely necessary.
- Confine or secure your pets.
- Call your family contact - do not use the telephone again unless it is a life-threatening emergency.
- Check on your neighbors, especially elderly or disabled persons.
- Make sure you have an adequate water supply in case service is cut off.
- Stay away from downed power lines.
- Return home only after authorities advise that it is safe to do so.
- Stay tuned to local radio and TV for information. Be aware of any ALERTWorcester notifications you may receive.
- Have a valid ID.
- Help injured or trapped persons.
- Give first aid where appropriate.
- Do not move seriously injured persons unless they are in immediate danger of further injury. Call for help.
- Ensure you are ready for future events by restocking your Emergency Supply Kit and updating your Family Communications Plan (64KB). Doing these positive actions can be comforting.
Inspecting Utilities in a Damaged Home
- Check for gas leaks - If you smell gas or hear blowing or hissing noises, open a window and quickly leave the building. Turn off the gas at the outside main valve if you can and call the gas company from a neighbor's home. If you turn off the gas for any reason, it must be turned back on by a professional.
- Look for electrical system damage - If you see sparks or broken or frayed wires, or if you smell hot insulation, turn off the electricity at the main fuse box or circuit breaker. If you have to step in water to get to the fuse box or circuit breaker, call an electrician first for advice.
- Check for sewage and water line damage - If you suspect sewage lines are damaged, avoid using the toilets and call a plumber. If water pipes are damaged, contact the water company and avoid the water from the tap.