Keeping Safe During Storms & Major Outages
Crews working to restore your power after a storm appreciate your patience and understanding that they are doing everything they can to get the job done as quickly and safely as possible.
Here are some important things you should remember if the power goes out. For a detailed preparation plan from the American Red Cross, click here.
- If power is lost or you plan to evacuate, turn off your heating and air conditioning systems, as well as your electric range and water heater. Unplug sensitive electronic appliances such as televisions, VCRs, microwave ovens and computers. Make sure family members know how to turn off electricity. Wait 10 to 15 minutes before turning on appliances and heating systems after power is restored.
- If your home is damaged, look for electrical system damage, too. If you see sparks, broken or frayed wires, or if you smell hot insulation, turn off the electricity at the main breaker box. Call an electrician. Do not step in water to get to the box. If power lines or poles are down in your yard or in the street, always treat them as if they were energized and dangerous and stay away.
- The real danger of fallen power lines is often hidden. Post-storm debris can conceal power lines that have fallen. Fallen trees that contain energized power lines can energize any item they contact, such as metal fences, a pond, or water. Even the ground can be energized near fallen power lines.
- If your electric service is out, check with neighbors to see if they have power. If they do, you may have a blown fuse or a tripped breaker. Never replace a fuse or reset a circuit breaker with wet hands or while standing on a wet or damp surface.
- If you use candles, remember that open windows and gusty winds can knock them over or blow flammable materials into them.
- If you cook food with Sterno or charcoal or use a gas-powered generator, remember to do so outside in a well-ventilated area to avoid deadly carbon-monoxide fumes.
Finally, helping our line crews is appreciated, but working with power lines and electricity requires a high degree of training. To restore power with the highest degree of safety, restoration must be accomplished in a certain order and by specific procedures.