Celia Ellen Deifik
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Staying safe in the aftermath of Irma

The recent hurricane that swept through Florida left in its wake millions of people without power; people were stranded in flooded, destroyed homes; some are dealing with serious injuries and missing loved ones.

Naples is among the cities hit hardest by Irma, and residents here are still struggling to recover from the massive storm. Surviving a hurricane is hard enough; rebuilding in the aftermath can be just as difficult. However, there are things you can do to help yourselves and your neighbors in these distressing times.

This article from ABC News has a number of helpful tips for people recovering from a major storm. 

  • Do not return home until authorities say it's safe to do so.
  • Use caution when driving to avoid hitting debris and possible sinkholes
  • Stay away from all fallen electrical power lines
  • Contact loved ones as soon as possible by phone, email or even social media to ensure everyone is safe

In the days after returning home or starting cleanup efforts:

  • Drink only bottled or boiled water until local authorities say it is safe to drink tap water
  • Dispose of all spoiled food to avoid getting sick
  • Stay out of flood water
  • Wear protective clothing including boots, goggles, gloves and hard hats
  • Be aware of dangerous animals like dogs or rats
  • Work in teams to enhance efforts and stay connected

It is also a good idea to check in on your neighbors and offer help, as long as it is safe to do so. 

We have tremendous appreciation for the recovery efforts in place. The entire community -- and country -- is coming together to help people affected by the hurricane, and working together is crucial in times like this. In the coming days and weeks, we urge everyone to make use of the support available and stay safe.

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