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Post Hurricane Saftey

While the national news focuses on Hurricanes Irma and Jose, the Harvey victims in Texas continue their recovery efforts. In most cases, the destruction of a hurricane is only the beginning of the story for those impacted. People who have returned to their homes can face innumerable challenges and dangers – especially if their home has been heavily damaged or destroyed. Harvey was a catastrophic Category 4 hurricane that meandered around southern Texas for several days (as both a weakening hurricane and a tropical storm). Universal Home Experts wants to make sure that our Houston neighbors have all the information they need to help them in their recovery. We have compiled a list of post-hurricane safety tips to help navigate the arduous task of reclaiming homes and lives.

  • If you evacuated, wait until officials tell you it is safe to return. If you need immediate short-term housing text SHELTER + your zip code to 43362 to find the nearest shelter.
  • If you need long-term housing, FEMA has several different types of assistance available. There are grants and services that can help people repair their homes or search for replacement housing. Visit the official FEMA site for more information.
  • If you have become separated from your family, contact the American Red Cross at 1-800-733-2767 or visit the American Red Cross Safe and Well site.
  • If you evacuated and return to your home, investigate the perimeter before going inside. Be mindful of gas leaks, downed or loose power lines, and any structural damage. Do not enter your home if it exhibits damage that might create a hazardous situation.
  • Be on the alert for more rain and subsequent flooding even after the hurricane. Listen to the NOAA for frequent weather updates.
  • Stay away from downed power lines – and report any that you see to the power company.
  • Only drive when it is necessary. Keep away from flooded roads and washed out bridges. Remember that it only takes a foot of moving water to move a car. Watch out for downed electrical wires and weakened buildings/walls/structures that might fall.
  • Do not use tap water for drinking or preparing food until it has been tested for toxins.
  • When cleaning your damaged home, make sure that you wear protective goggles, gloves and clothing.
  • Clearing out debris can be dangerous. Be cautious when removing damaged elements from your home. Watch out for wild animals, especially poisonous snakes, when going through the detritus. Use a stick or cane to help investigate any areas that appear dangerous.
  • Never run a generator inside the home or garage. A generator should be placed outside in a dry, secured area. Deadly levels of carbon monoxide can build up very quickly when a generator is kept inside an enclosed space.


For a medical/functional emergency call 211.
For a life-threatening emergency call 911.
If you need to be rescued call 281-238-3430
If you need info about shelters or help, inside Houston, dial 311. Outside Houston, dial 211

People in distress can call the following US Coast Guard numbers:


You can also call the new Coast Guard Harvey Emergency Response Line at 202-372-2100. Please call and provide your name, number of people trapped, number of pets, address and telephone number.

For more information on our home services, give us a call at (713) 364-0226 (available 24/7). Or you can visit us online or drop us a message on our Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ pages.

Universal Home Experts is your trusted source for all of your plumbing, electrical, and HVAC needs. We service the entire Houston area. Don’t forget to schedule your annual heating maintenance tune-up. It will extend the life of your HVAC system, increase energy efficiency, and ensure your warranties remain valid.

Caption: A Texas National Guardsman carries a resident from her flooded home following Hurricane Harvey in Houston, Aug. 27, 2017.