Storm Safety Tips
To report an outage, call Big Sandy RECC at 1-888-789-7322 or submit an outage report.
If your lights go off during a storm, be prepared for the power outage. Assemble supplies to have on hand rather than rushing around when the storm is coming and waiting in long lines fo rmilk or bread. Rotate your supplies to keep them fresh and use the following checklist to prepare for power outages:
Have Plenty of Food
- Keep a 3- to 5-day supply of drinking water in plastic bottles. Plan on at least 1 gallon of water per person, per day.
- Store a manual can opener with enough nonperishable foods for 3 to 5 days. Canned meats, tuna fish and peanut butter are good foods to store. Don’t forget pet foods!
- Conserve water by using paper plates and plastic utensils.
- Have a camp stove or grill for outdoor cooking.
Stay In Touch
- Have a portable,battery-powered radio and alarm clock.
- Have one non-portable phone that will work even if power is interrupted.
- Plan where to meet and how to communicate with family members if separated.
Keep essential family member contact information near your phone, in your wallet, and in your glove compartment.
Keep Things Going
- Keep plenty of gas in your car.
- Keep extra batteries, matches, propane, charcoal and firewood.
Stay Happy, Healthy and Warm
- Coordinate with neighbors for care of the elderly and disabled living alone.
- Maintain a supply of prescriptions, nonprescription drugs, vitamins and special dietary foods.
- Playing cards, books, drawing and writing supplies, and board games help pass the time. If you have a video camera and tapes, your family can make a storm documentary.
- Keep sanitary and personal hygiene supplies replenished. Premoistened cleansing towelettes are useful and help conserve water.
- Use plastic trash bags and ties for garbage.
- Put first-aid kits in your home and car.
- Make sure you have cold weather clothing, foul weather gear, blankets and sleeping bags.
- Consider purchasing alternative UL-approved heating devices. For example, a fireplace insert or woodstove will keep the heat in your home instead of up the chimney.
- Use flashlights and other battery-operated lighting instead of candles.
- Keep fire extinguishers fully charged.
- Fill your bathtub with water for bathroom use before the storm (if you have a well).
If you think your home may have water damage the following are important safety tips:
- Watch for downed wires when you approach your home. Consider all lines energized and call us immediately if you see a live "sparking" power line and remain clear of the area.
- Once inside, do not stand in water when operating electrical switches, plugging in or unplugging electrical cords.;
- Carefully disconnect all electrical appliances that are still plugged in.
- When resetting circuit breakers, wear dry, rubber soled shoes and stand on something dry and non-conductive, such as a dry piece of wood or wooden furniture.
- When you reset the breaker switches use only one hand and when possible use a dry wooden tool. Avoid making contact with the metal breaker box or other metal objects in the area. If the breakers will not reset or they continue to trip, call a licensed electrician.
- If you had no problem resetting the circuit breakers, you will still want to check your appliances for water damage and make sure all cords are dry before you attempt to re-plug electrical appliances into wall sockets.
- If, after plugging in an appliance, the breakers trip (or fuse blows) or you see smoke or smell a burning odor, shut off power at the circuit breaker and have the appliance checked by a qualified appliance serviceman.
Be very careful around all electrical wires and equipment. If you have any doubts about your home electrical system or are unsure of how to proceed, call a professional, licensed electrician.
If you plan to use a portable generator, here are some important safety precautions:
- Read all instructions carefully and follow the manufacturer's recommendations.
- First, never run your generator indoors or in your garage. Generators should only be run in a well-ventilated area. Gasoline-powered generators produce carbon monoxide and the fumes can be deadly if there is not adequate ventilation.
- Second, plug appliances directly into the generator using heavy duty, properly grounded extension cords.
- Make sure that extension cords are not frayed or worn.
- Limit the electrical load placed on the generator to no more than the recommended wattage.
- Do not connect your power generator directly to your home's main fuse box or circuit panel.
- Use the generator only when necessary.
- Turn the generator off at night while you sleep and when you are away from home.
If you have any questions about how to properly use a portable electric generator, contact the manufacturer or a licensed electrician for assistance.