Checklist: Inside the home

Protect your family, home

Don’t call police, emergency or utility officials unless you have a life-threatening emergency.

If you must call loved ones, be brief to keep lines free.

Use cellphones sparingly. They may be the only working phones, and a limited number of cells will be operating.

Expect to redial several times before completing a cell call. If you find regular phone service is unsatisfactory, try your cellphone’s text messaging or walkie-talkie features.

Keep children away from debris or dangerous areas.

Plan to wear old clothes you don’t mind throwing away. They might well be stained or torn during cleanup.

Wear sturdy shoes, such as construction boots, if you have them. NEVER walk barefoot! The ground likely will be littered with broken glass and other sharp debris.

Watch your step. You easily can twist an ankle, or worse, and medical help likely won’t be easily available.

Wash hands regularly and treat injuries promptly. Wear construction gloves if available. You’ll be handling dirty and perhaps contaminated or even toxic materials.

Keep a flashlight handy. Even during the day you might be in dark spots.

CLEANUP/REPAIRS

If water remains in your house, try to rent or borrow a pump or bail by hand. Then shovel out mud, sand or silt. Disinfect floors.

Make only temporary repairs. Take photos of the damage before any repairs.

Hose off wet upholstered furniture to remove dirt. If plaster or plasterboard walls are wet, do not rub them. Let them dry, then brush off dirt and wash walls with a mild soap solution.

Wipe iron and steel furniture with a kerosene-soaked cloth to ward off rust.

Don’t throw out damaged papers or art. Professionals might be able to restore them.