|Know how to stay safe during a power outage||| Print ||
Know How You Can Stay Safe and Get Through
Severe storms unfortunately do happen and are devastating to homes, properties, and lives. These storms can also take down power lines—creating a dangerous situation for all of us, including the linemen and linewomen working hard to get your power turned back on.
How long it takes to get your power restored depends on the extent of the storm’s destruction, the number of outages, and when it becomes safe for utility personnel to get to the damaged areas. There are many steps in the assessment and restoration process—clearing downed power lines; ensuring public health and safety facilities are operational; checking power stations and transformers; repairing transmission lines, substations, and distribution lines; and getting power restored to customers within the various damaged areas.
Be sure to contact your electric utility immediately to report the outage.
During an outage, Safe Electricity recommends turning off electrical appliances and unplugging major electronics, including computers and televisions. Power sometimes comes back in surges, which can damage electronics. Your circuits could overload when power returns if all your electronics are still plugged in and on. Leave one light on to indicate that power has been restored. Wait a few minutes and then turn on other appliances and equipment—one at a time.
If you use a standby generator, it is critical that proper safety precautions be taken. Always read and follow all manufacturer operating instructions. There should be nothing plugged into the generator when you turn it on. This prevents a surge from damaging your generator and appliances. Operate generators in well-ventilated, outdoor, dry areas. Never attach a temporary generator to a circuit breaker, fuse, or outlet. Permanent generators should be wired into a house by a qualified electrician using a transfer switch in order to prevent feeding electricity back into overhead lines, which can be deadly for linemen.
To help you get through, have a storm kit prepared. Keep the kit in a cool, dry place, and make sure all members of the family know where it is.
For information on when to save and when to throw out refrigerated food after a power outage, go to FoodSafety.gov.
For more information on electrical safety, explore SafeElectricity.org.