What NOT to do after a hurricane

Dear New York-

Hi, it’s Miami giving you a quick heads up. In true New Yorker spirit, I give you this quick list of what not to do after Hurricane Irene. Please know that most accidents happen after hurricanes pass so don’t:

-Let your kids out of the house. Downed power lines may look dead, but many are still live with enough power to kill. Most dead lines look just like live ones. Assume they are all live. Don’t even get close to anything that is touching the line, like a tree, fence, or a vehicle. I know that puddle looks like a cool place for them to enjoy their day off, but it could kill them. Even if there is no power in lines, the puddle could be filled with raw sewage, chemicals or other funky stuff.

-Don’t be a cleanup hero. If you’re some cufflink wearing power broker, don’t break out your chainsaw and pretend like you’re on the TV show Ax Men. You’re not. Leave the tree work and heavy cleanup to the pros. Heart attacks spike after hurricanes by people attempting to be hurricane cleanup heroes.  Also, statistics show that most heart attacks occur on Monday mornings anyway so you may have a double whammy there depending on landfall time.

-Don’t run a generator in your garage. Only use in well ventilated areas. Carbon Monoxide will kill you quick.

-Don’t store your gas can inside. I know it sounds stupid to say, but many people do it.

-Don’t waste your time duct taping your windows. It may make you feel good, but it doesn’t do squat.

-Don’t crack you window to “let some air in.” This is an old wives tale. If wind and pressure get in, it will need to go out. You don’t want your windows or roof blowing out.

-Don’t be drinking. Down here, we’re a little bit more used to it and some have hurricane parties but having a clear head is a real good idea.

So New York, that’s my quick what not to do list. Take my advice and if you have any questions, I’ll do my best to answer. For information on what to do, go to ready.gov.

Good luck and I hope you won’t be sending us any snow advisories any time soon.

Stay safe-

Mike in Miami

Side note: I learned many of the above tips while while working at Beber Silverstein as we handled the Florida Power & Light for 18 years.  So please take the advice!!!