If you make it out of the path of a hurricane or any catastrophic event, going home may be a relief, but it is also dangerous.
You’ll be thinking of home, of course — your house, possessions, neighbors, friends — but don’t go until the area is actually safe. The Federal Emergency Management Agency suggests people wait for local officials to give the all-clear.
Even with local permission, be aware and cautious. Make sure your phone is charged before you go home. It might be best to bring a charger with you. Arrive during daylight, since there might not be power.
Once you get to your home, do an inspection, checking for loose power lines, gas leaks and structural damage, according to the National Weather Service.
In a perfect world, if you are evacuating, you turn off all the power from the main service panel before you leave. But if you didn’t do that and if the area has flooded, arrive after waters recede and beware of standing water in the home. Turn off power from a dry place, if you can. If the power is on or was on when you left, contact the electric company to turn the power off at the meter.
Never enter a house with standing water. If the water has any contact with outlets or cords, it could be electrified. You could be shocked or electrocuted.
Don’t do any cleaning until you have taken pictures of every detail. This will help with insurance claims.