Staying Safe after Storms

Most of us were glued to our televisions as Hurricane Florence ravaged the Carolinas with unrelenting winds and flooding rains and again when Hurricane Michael ravaged Florida’s Panhandle. Both storms took a tragic human toll. Florence is responsible for taking more than 40 lives. Michael killed at least 12 people (as of this writing).

Often, more people lose their lives after the storm has passed than during the storm. Hurricanes and strong thunderstorms can leave many hidden dangers behind, so keep safety in mind when stepping outside to check for damage to your home and property.

Storm safety tips:

  • Stay away from downed power lines. They can kill. And, don’t touch anyone or anything in contact with a power line.
  • Never drive over downed lines. It could pull down poles and lines on top of you.  If see power lines in the road, stay in your vehicle, warn others and call 9-1-1.
  • Before entering storm-damaged buildings, be sure all electric and gas services are turned off. Never turn off power at the breaker box if you must stand in water to do so.
  • Never enter a building or room where water is covering electrical outlets, appliances or cords. Don’t touch appliances, cords or wires in standing water or if you are wet.
  • Keep electric tools and equipment at least 20 feet away from wet surfaces. Don’t use electric tools outdoors if it’s raining or the ground is wet.
  • Don’t use any water-damaged appliance until it’s been inspected by a licensed electrician.
  • If power is out for an extended period, never cook indoors with a charcoal or gas grill.
  • Never connect a portable generator to your home’s electrical system unless a licensed electrician has installed a transfer switch to prevent backfeeding. Backfeeding electricity onto power lines is dangerous to anyone contacting the lines, including our repair crews.

Poles and power lines can always be replaced but people can’t, so your safety and the safety of PRECO line crews is our first priority. Don’t make a bad situation worse by ignoring electrical safety after storms and hurricanes.