Post-Hurricane Health & Safety Tips

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For those dealing directly with the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, and for concerned loved ones, here are some important safety tips.

How do I contact someone in the affected area?

You can, of course, try calling. Many landlines will be down, but some are operating. If you use your mobile phone, you may get a busy signal because mobile bandwidth may be overloaded in the storm areas, or some cell towers may be damaged. If you can’t reach someone by phone, try texting. All of the wireless carriers are recommending people text because it has a greater chance of getting through and will use less battery power of the person you’re trying to reach.

If that doesn’t work and you’re trying to contact someone in the area who may be housebound or evacuated, contact FEMA (800-621-FEMA) or the American Red Cross (800-RED-CROSS). Both have Internet locators where people in the storm areas can register their names to let their loved one(s) know where they are, and if they are safe. FEMA’s site is called the National Emergency Family Registry and Locator System ( The Red Cross has a site called “Safe and Well” that offers the same service. (

Once the power is out, how long will refrigerated foods last?

Refrigerated foods, once the power is off, will stay cold for about four to six hours. To increase the time, keep the refrigerator and freezer doors closed.