|Keep Your Cool While the Power’s Out|
|Library of Articles - Storm Recovery-Spring/Summer|
Safe Electricity offers tips for weathering prolonged power outages
A number of circumstances can cause power interruptions, and damage from severe summer storms can cause outages that last days. When a power outage occurs during hot weather, take steps to maintain safety and comfort until power is restored.
Many summer power outages are due to severe storms with high winds that topple utility poles and power lines. It’s important to stay clear of downed power lines at all times, even during cleanup efforts. Be alert to the possibility that tree limbs or debris may hide an electrical hazard.
Assume that any dangling wires you encounter are electrical and treat all downed or hanging lines as if they are energized. If you are driving and come upon a downed power line, stay in your vehicle, warn others to stay away and contact emergency personnel or electric utility. Also when driving, be careful at intersections where traffic lights may be out. Stop at all railroad crossings, and treat road intersections with traffic signals as a four-way stop before proceeding with caution.
If power to your home is out for a prolonged period, know and understand important safety precautions and steps to cope with heat until power is restored:
During an outage, Safe Electricity recommends turning off electrical appliances and unplugging major equipment, including air conditioning units, computers and televisions. This will help protect equipment that could be damaged by electrical surges and prevent circuit overloads when power is restored. Leave one light on to indicate that power has been restored. Wait a few minutes then turn on other appliances and equipment one at a time.
If you use a standby generator, make sure a transfer safety switch is used or connect the appliance(s) directly to the generator output through an isolated circuit before you operate it. This prevents electricity from traveling back through the power lines, what’s known as “back feed.” Back feed creates danger for anyone near lines, particularly crews working to restore power.