The Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) urges residents to take precautions as they recover from the early March coastal storm that resulted in flooded homes, tree damage and significant power outages.\n\n\u201cMassachusetts has experienced a destructive storm that brought significant impacts across the state,\u201d said MEMA Director Kurt Schwartz. \u201cMEMA encourages residents to stay safe as they cleanup storm damage, return to flooded homes and begin the recovery process.\u201d\n\nStay Safe After A Storm\n\nStay away from downed utility wires. Always assume a downed power line is live. If you see a downed wire, call 9-1-1 to report it.\n\tCall 2-1-1 to obtain shelter locations and other disaster information, and to be connected with non-profit social services providers.\n\tBe a good neighbor. Check on family, friends, and neighbors, especially the elderly, those who live alone, those with medical conditions, and those who may need additional assistance.\nPower Outage Safety\n\nIf your power is out, follow our power outage safety tips:\n\nCall your utility company to report power outages and get restoration information. Do not call 9-1-1 to report an outage or to ask about power restoration.\n\tMake sure emergency generators or secondary heating systems are well ventilated.\n\tUse generators and grills outside because their fumes contain carbon monoxide. Make sure your carbon monoxide detectors are working as it is a silent, odorless, killer. See more Generator Safety Tips.\u00a0\n\tThrow away any refrigerated food that was exposed to temperatures above 40 \u00b0F for more than two hours or has an unusual odor, color, or texture. When in doubt, throw it out! See more from Foodsafety.gov: When to Save and When to Throw Out.\n\tContact your doctor or pharmacy if you\u2019re concerned that medications have spoiled.\nReturning to A Home that was Flooded\n\nIf you have evacuated, return home only when authorities say it is safe to do so.\n\tStay out of damaged buildings and away from affected areas or roads until authorities deem them safe\n\tNever touch electrical equipment while you are wet or standing in water. Consider a qualified electrician to assist in assessing damage to electrical systems.\n\tClean and disinfect anything that got wet. Take precautions. Wear appropriate protective equipment such as gloves, safety glasses, and face masks. \n\tFlooded floors and walls should be washed with a solution of two capfuls of household bleach for each gallon of water.\n\t\tCarpeting, mattresses, and upholstered furniture should be disposed of or disinfected by a professional cleaner.\n\t\tRemove and replace any drywall or other paneling that has been underwater. Use a moisture meter to make sure that wooden studs and framing are dry before replacing the drywall. Mold growth in hidden places is a significant health hazard.\n\t\n\tConsider using professional cleaning and repair services before attempting to repair flood-damaged property.\nCheck Your Home for Damage\n\nIf you have concerns about private well contamination, check with your local public health officials for guidance.\n\tHave damaged septic tanks or leaching systems repaired as soon as possible to reduce potential health hazards.\n\tIf you believe there is a gas leak, go outdoors immediately. Do not turn electrical switches or appliances on or off. If you turned off your gas, you must contact a licensed professional to turn it back on.\n\tTake photos or videos to document any damage to your home or property, and contact your insurance company. For information and frequently asked questions about disaster insurance claims, review the Disaster Guide for Consumers or contact the Massachusetts Division of Insurance.\n\tIf you home requires construction to repair or rebuild, take steps to avoid scams and fraud.\n\u00a0\n\nAbout MEMA\n\nMEMA is the state agency charged with ensuring the state is prepared to withstand, respond to, and recover from all types of emergencies and disasters, including natural hazards, accidents, deliberate attacks, and technological and infrastructure failures. MEMA\u0027s staff of professional planners, communications specialists and operations and support personnel is committed to an all hazards approach to emergency management. By building and sustaining effective partnerships with federal, state and local government agencies, and with the private sector - individuals, families, non-profits and businesses - MEMA ensures the Commonwealth\u0027s ability to rapidly recover from large and small disasters by assessing and mitigating threats and hazards, enhancing preparedness, ensuring effective response, and strengthening our capacity to rebuild and recover. For additional information about MEMA and Emergency Preparedness, go to www.mass.gov/mema.\n\nContinue to follow MEMA updates on Twitter at www.twitter.com/MassEMA; Facebook at www.facebook.com/MassachusettsEMA; YouTube at www.youtube.com/MassachusettsEMA. \n\nMassachusetts Alerts: to receive emergency information on your smartphone, including severe weather alerts from the National Weather Service and emergency information from MEMA, download the free Massachusetts Alerts app. To learn more about Massachusetts Alerts, and for information on how to download the free app onto your smartphone, visit: www.mass.gov/mema/mobileapp.