As Acadiana hopefully gets a chance for flood waters to recede today, many displaced residents will begin the process of returning to their flooded homes to access the damage. If you've never been through a catastrophe like this, or even if you have, it can be hard to know where to start. The American Red Cross has these helpful tips to get you started and keep you safe.

1. Before entering your home, look outside for loose power lines, damaged gas lines, foundation cracks or other damage.

2. Parts of your home may be collapsed or damaged. Approach entrances carefully. See if porch roofs and overhangs have all their supports.

3. Materials such as cleaning products, paint, batteries, contaminated fuel and damaged fuel containers are hazardous. Check with local authorities for assistance with disposal to avoid risk.

4. During cleanup, wear protective clothing, including rubber gloves and rubber boots.

5. Make sure your food and water are safe. Discard items that have come in contact with floodwater, including canned goods, water bottles, plastic utensils and baby bottle nipples. When in doubt, throw it out!