Michael tears off roofs in Panama City Beach

Hurricane Michael's powerful winds and devastating storm surge wreaked havoc in Panama City Beach, Florida.

Posted: Oct 12, 2018 12:51 AM
Updated: Oct 12, 2018 1:03 AM

Hurricane Michael, a Category 4 storm, made landfall in the Florida Panhandle on Wednesday.

The National Weather Service described Michael as "expected to bring life-threatening storm surge to portions of the Gulf Coast, life-threatening flash flooding due to heavy rainfall, and life-threatening winds."

Michael also brings the threat of power outages. After Hurricane Irma hit last year, many east Florida homes were left without power for a prolonged period of time.

After the storm is over and you're heading home, here is what you need to know.

Road safety after a storm

  • Return home only when officials say it is safe.
  • Watch out for signs, roofing materials and other items left outside, as they could have flown around during the storm.
  • Carry valid ID; you may need it to re-enter the area.
  • Try to stay off the roads, beaches and waterways so emergency services are able to do their job.
  • If you do have to drive, watch for fallen objects in the road, and don't drive through floodwater; it could contain debris as well as germs.
  • Don't drive around barricades; follow all instructions.
  • Debris can be reported to the Florida Department of Health here.

When you arrive home

  • Be careful around damaged buildings, and leave immediately if you hear shifting or unusual noises, as a structure could be about to fall.
  • Check the outside of your home for loose power lines and gas leaks.
  • If the building smells like gas or there are floodwaters inside, don't go in.
  • Be aware of the warning signs of heat exhaustion when cleaning up after the storm.
  • Make sure you use the correct safety gear while cleaning. Beware of snakes, insects and other animals that might have moved to different areas due to high waters.
  • Take precautions when using equipment such as chain saws.
  • Clean, dry and ventilate your home to avoid mold. Throw away anything that won't dry quickly, and thoroughly clean anything that can be cleaned.
  • When returning to your home, be aware that floodwater may contain sewage and other hazards. Keep children and pets away from the affected area until cleanup has been completed.
  • Clean all hard surfaces -- such as flooring, concrete, wood and metal furniture, countertops, appliances, sinks and other plumbing fixtures -- with hot water and detergent.
  • If the power goes out, be aware of extreme temperatures and how they can affect you.

Safe power sources

  • Never use portable generators inside your home or garage.
  • Take precautions when using gas-powered appliances as they could lead to carbon monoxide poisoning.
  • Check for gas leaks. If you smell gas or hear a blowing or hissing noise, open a window and leave immediately. Turn off the gas at the outside main valve if you can. Call your gas company from another location.
  • All appliances and other equipment and lighting must be dry before use.

Food and water

  • If your water supply is unsafe, boil water before using it, or use bottled water.
  • Check the temperature of your freezer when you regain power. If it is below 40 degrees Fahrenheit, you can refreeze or eat the food safely.
  • Throw away any food that may have come into contact with floodwater or storm water, perishable food that may have not been refrigerated properly and anything that does not look, smell or feel like it should.
  • Do not use contaminated water, either suspected or confirmed, to wash dishes, brush your teeth, wash and prepare food, wash your hands, make ice or make baby formula.
  • As the CDC says, "When in doubt, throw it out." Food that looks normal can still make you sick.
  • Keep refrigerator and freezer doors closed as much as possible until the power comes back. If it's been less than four hours, food is still safe to eat.

Sources: National Weather Service, Florida Department of Health, Federal Emergency Management Agency, US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, US Food and Drug Administration

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 8 p.m. ET)

Confirmed Cases: 34211

Reported Deaths: 2125
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion9761576
Lake3573186
Allen160069
Cass15877
St. Joseph126634
Elkhart126228
Hendricks116671
Hamilton115493
Johnson1097108
Madison58659
Porter53428
Bartholomew50834
Clark49741
LaPorte43023
Howard40428
Tippecanoe3933
Delaware38536
Jackson3821
Shelby37122
Hancock33127
Floyd31839
Boone31635
Morgan27824
Vanderburgh2662
Montgomery23817
White2338
Noble22821
Clinton2271
Decatur22431
Grant21022
Dubois1993
Harrison19422
Henry17211
Greene16924
Vigo1688
Dearborn16821
Monroe16712
Warrick16628
Lawrence15924
Miami1401
Putnam1367
Jennings1304
Kosciusko1271
Orange12622
Scott1193
Franklin1108
Ripley1086
Marshall1021
Carroll932
Daviess8516
Steuben832
Wayne785
Fayette777
Newton7710
Wabash772
LaGrange762
Jasper661
Washington521
Clay511
Jay500
Fulton491
Randolph473
Rush462
Pulaski460
Jefferson451
Whitley413
Starke393
DeKalb371
Sullivan351
Owen341
Brown331
Perry320
Wells310
Benton300
Knox280
Huntington272
Tipton251
Blackford252
Crawford240
Fountain212
Switzerland200
Spencer201
Parke170
Adams171
Posey160
Gibson152
Ohio130
Warren121
Martin110
Vermillion100
Union90
Pike60
Unassigned0167

Illinois Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 7 p.m. CT)

Confirmed Cases: 118917

Reported Deaths: 5330
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Cook771193603
Lake8238288
DuPage7620368
Kane6259176
Will5510273
Winnebago220955
McHenry153972
St. Clair112180
Kankakee90045
Kendall77819
Rock Island65124
Champaign6277
Madison57259
Boone44117
DeKalb3994
Sangamon34829
Jackson28210
Randolph2694
Peoria2218
McLean21813
Ogle2033
Stephenson2012
Macon19419
Clinton18617
Union15510
LaSalle15013
Whiteside13912
Iroquois1314
Coles12615
Out of IL1181
Warren1150
Jefferson10116
Grundy982
Knox980
Monroe9511
McDonough8711
Lee811
Unassigned800
Cass730
Tazewell725
Henry690
Williamson661
Pulaski560
Marion500
Jasper457
Macoupin452
Adams441
Perry420
Montgomery391
Vermilion391
Morgan361
Christian354
Livingston342
Jo Daviess320
Douglas270
Fayette203
Ford201
Jersey201
Menard200
Woodford192
Mason180
Washington180
Hancock170
Mercer170
Carroll162
Shelby161
Bureau151
Schuyler130
Bond121
Franklin120
Clark110
Crawford110
Fulton110
Moultrie110
Piatt110
Brown100
Cumberland100
Logan100
Wayne91
Alexander80
Henderson80
Johnson80
Effingham71
Massac70
Saline70
Greene50
Marshall50
De Witt40
Lawrence40
Richland30
Stark30
Clay20
Edwards20
Gallatin20
Hamilton20
Wabash20
White20
Calhoun10
Edgar10
Hardin10
Pike10
Pope10
Putnam10
Terre Haute
Clear
65° wxIcon
Hi: 74° Lo: 50°
Feels Like: 65°
Robinson
Clear
67° wxIcon
Hi: 73° Lo: 50°
Feels Like: 67°
Indianapolis
Clear
63° wxIcon
Hi: 71° Lo: 47°
Feels Like: 63°
Rockville
Clear
62° wxIcon
Hi: 72° Lo: 50°
Feels Like: 62°
Casey
Clear
65° wxIcon
Hi: 74° Lo: 52°
Feels Like: 65°
Brazil
Clear
65° wxIcon
Hi: 73° Lo: 50°
Feels Like: 65°
Marshall
Clear
65° wxIcon
Hi: 73° Lo: 50°
Feels Like: 65°
A great Sunday on tap!
WTHI Planner
WTHI Temps
WTHI Radar

WTHI Events