Electronics and Appliances
Before Event During Event After Event Resources

After the Event

Before flipping a switch or plugging in an appliance, have an electrician check the house wiring, if possible.

For safety, if you plan on using a portable generator for your appliance(s), be sure to turn off all connected appliances before starting your generator. Turn connected appliances on one at a time, never exceeding the generator's rated wattage.

When using a wet-dry vacuum cleaner to clean up flooded areas, follow these instructions to avoid electric shock:

  • Do not allow power cord connections to become wet. Do not remove or bypass the ground pin on a three-prong plug. Use a GFCI (ground fault circuit interrupter) to prevent electrocution.
  • Never allow the connection between a machine's power cord and the three-wire grounded extension cord to sit in water.

Here are tips for getting water-soaked electronics and appliances back in good working order after a weather event, such as a hurricane:

Electronics

  • Never open an electronic item to allow it to dry. Unplug the item and let it dry thoroughly for several days. After being assured that the item has had time to dry, plug it in. If the item does not work, immediately unplug it and take it to a repair shop.
  • If the electronic item appears to be working properly, leave the item on for approximately 10 minutes and then turn it off for 30 minutes. Repeat the process again. This will ensure that any moisture sensors are working properly.
  • If you have CDs or DVDs that have been covered with mud, soak them in a soap and water solution. Use a soft cloth to lightly remove the soil.
  • When reinstalling a CB, TV or satelitte antenna, check in all directions to be sure no power lines are nearby. The same goes for climbing trees to clear debris.

Ovens

  • Clean the inside of the oven with a standard oven cleaning product.
  • Clean the outside of the oven with dish detergent and water.

Refrigerators and Freezers

  • After power is restored, check refrigerated food for spoilage. Spoiled food is the cause of much sickness two days to a week after the storm.
  • To remove odors, wash the inside of the appliance with detergent and water. Don't forget to wash the gasket that seals the door. Rinse with clear water and dry.
  • If you still have odors after a thorough cleaning, rewash the appliance with a baking soda or vinegar solution. Use 1 teaspoon of baking soda per quart of water. Use a cup of vinegar per gallon of water.

Washer and Dryers

  • Use disinfectant in the washer. Run the washer for 15 minutes using the hot water setting.
  • Wipe the dryer drum and door with a cloth containing a disinfectant. Wipe the dryer with a cloth dipped in clear water. Leave the dryer door open overnight to completely dry.

Updated October 2013