10/30/2012 12:47 pm ET

Evacuation Safety: Had To Leave Your Home Because Of Sandy? The Next Steps To Take

Hundreds of thousands of people have been evacuated as a result of the superstorm Sandy, according to news reports. If you've been evacuated from your home, do not return back unless authorities give the OK that it is safe to do so, according to the New York State Department of Health.

People should also be aware of the possibility of smoke, escaping gas or damage to the structure of the building (which would make it unsafe to walk in). If it is OK to enter the building, the Department of Health warns people to use a flashlight to look around -- NOT an open flame -- since there may be gas in the building. It's also important to turn off the outside gas lines and have them checked, not to mention the water and electrical lines. People should also wear proper attire -- gloves, and rubber boots with heavy soles -- if walking around inside a damaged building.

The Department of Health also advises people to keep photographic record of all damage done to the property, as well as costs necessary to repair the damage, and to not discard anything before inventory is taken.

For more information, click over to the New York State Department of Health's website.