Do not return to your home until an "All Clear" has been announced through local officials. In areas of heavy damage, re-entry may be controlled by special permit, pass, or documentation in order to verify property ownership. Make sure you have proper identification cards/permits with you in order to show proof of residency/ownership.
Once you return, you should carefully check for structural damage prior to entering any building. Use caution when entering. Look before you step. After a flood, the ground and floors are covered with debris including broken bottles and nails. Floors and stairs can be slippery.
After ensuring that your neighborhood has been cleared to do so, turn on the utilities in your home. Turn the electricity on one breaker at a time and watch for smoke or sparks. Be alert for gas leaks. Use a flashlight to inspect for damage. Never smoke or use candles, lanterns, matches or open flames unless you know the gas has been properly turned off and the entire area is ventilated.