COLUMBUS, Ga (WRBL)- With hurricane season approaching next month, the National Weather Service is hosting Hurricane Preparedness Week this week. Each day will have a different theme on how you can stay safe before and during hurricane season. 

Even after the storm has passed, dangers remain. Nearly half of hurricane fatalities occur after the storm is over.

Only return home when you are told to do so: Only return home when officials say that it is safe.

Stay alert because hazard remain: Be careful near damaged structures. Carefully inspect your home outside for damage, and be aware for gas leaks, power lines, and structural damage. If you smell gas or hear shifting, leave immediately.

Clean up safely: When cleaning up after the storm, don’t push yourself or strain your body. Be sure to stay hydrated, wear appropriate clothing, and clean up in cooler hours. Check on your vulnerable and elderly neighbors after the storm.

Portable generator safety: Never use a generator inside your home or garage. Portable generators are one of the leading causes of death in areas that are dealing with power outages.

Help my not be readily available: Immediately after a hurricane, first responders may be overwhelmed. Know that it could take hours or even days for them to reach you. Communication systems may be down, so phone calls may not be an option.