Before, During, & After a Storm
Being prepared for a severe storm and knowing what to do in its aftermath can mean the difference between survival and a tragedy.
Lineworkers are often called storm heroes or storm soldiers because they have the knowledge, training, and courage to head into the immediate aftermath of a severe storm in order to help others. They face numerous dangers as they restore power to communities by clearing any lines or equipment that pose a risk to public safety, reconnecting downed lines, and repairing damaged equipment.
The time it takes to restore power can vary widely depending on the extent of a storm’s destruction, the number of outages, and when it becomes safe for utility personnel to get to the damaged areas. Whether it is hours or days, it always pays to be prepared.
Be prepared by putting together an emergency kit. Some of the important items to include in it are: water bottles, non-perishable food, flashlights, extra batteries, a first aid kit, and a portable weather radio. For a full list, visit SafeElectricity.org. Another part of preparation is paying attention to weather forecasts for your area so that when a storm hits, you can already be in a safe shelter.
If you are outside, head inside immediately to avoid being caught in a storm. No place outside is safe when thunderstorms are in the area. Stay away from windows, go to the lowest level in your house, avoid corded electrical equipment, and have your emergency kit within easy reach.
Even after a storm passes, it can leave hazards in its wake. Stay far away from all downed lines and any objects they are touching. If you see a downed power line, call 911 to notify emergency personnel and the utility immediately.
Do not venture out on roads after a storm unless you have to. If your vehicle comes in contact with a downed power line, do not leave the car. Downed power lines can still carry electricity, and while you are safe inside your vehicle, creating two points of contact by touching the surrounding ground could result in shock or electrocution. Wait for utility and emergency professionals to make sure the power line is de-energized before exiting the car.