Tips for returning to your home after an evacuation - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Tips for returning to your home after an evacuation

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TRI-CITIES, WA - With several fires in our area forcing evacuations, and potential for even you know what to do when returning home?

Whether it's because of fires or floods, evacuating and not knowing what could happen to your home can be a very traumatic experience.

Since most people in our area are dealing with fires right now, reporter Mackenzie Allen focused on that.

Here are some of the suggestions from the National Inter-agency Fire Center.

One of the first things you're going to want to do is check the outside of your home, making sure if there are any burned spots that everything is out and cold.

You're also going to want to make sure the structure of the house looks intact before going inside.

Before you try and turn the power on, check that there is no damage to the main breaker - especially the wires and plugs.

Finally, if you have a well, make sure there is no damage to the well head.

If you see any damage, you are recommended to contact a licensed professional and get everything inspected.

Another handy tip to tell if the food in your fridge or freezer has spoiled from losing power: before you evacuate, you're going to want to freeze a glass of water, and then put a coin on top of it. When you get back, check if the quarter is still on top. That means your power stayed on and things didn't defrost.

If it's in the middle, things should still be safe to eat, as long as the food isn't close to its expiration date.

If it's at or near the bottom, toss your food.

Of course, for something like this, it is always better to be safe than sorry. So if you're on the fence, just put it in the trash.