Listen for warning signals and know where
shelters are located.
Secure or tie down all loose objects.
Unplug electric appliances you may not need to use.
Store patio furniture and propane tanks.
Have a home survival kit ready with these
Matches or lighter
First aid kit and
Manual can opener
Five-day supply of
non-perishable, ready-to-eat food
Ice chest and blue-ice
Containers of water
(minimum 2 quarts per person per day)
Sleeping bags or
Change of clothing for
Camp stove, lantern, and
Masking tape for
sanitary supplies, and diapers.
Here are some actions you should take before a
storm in case there is a power failure:
Keep the refrigerator or
freezer door closed as long as possible if the power goes out.
Make sure that your
appliances, computers, and other electronic equipment are turned off and
unplugged during the time of the storm.
Keep some blue-ice packs
frozen to help keep food from spoiling.
If you have a small generator to use as backup to the electric utility
system, follow these safety tips:
- If you want to connect the generator to the household electrical
system, make sure that the residence is DISCONNECTED from the
utility's electrical system at the point where the electric lines feed
into the meter. A special switch needs to be installed by a qualified
electrical where the generator and the electric utility serves power to
the residence. This switch eliminates the possibility of two sources
supplying electrical power to the house at the same time. The power
may feed back into the lines if the generator is improperly connected.
This can endanger the lives of your neighbors and the utility crews
trying to restore power because they may not realize the lines are
- Make sure the capacity of the generator adequately meets the
household load. You should use only those appliances that do not exceed
the generator's capacity.
- Properly ground the generator in accordance with the instruction
- Proper ventilation of the generator's exhaust and cooling systems is
very important. A well-designed exhaust will minimize noise,
dangerous fumes and overheating.
- Store the reserve fuel supply in a safe place away from the generator
or any other equipment that may ignite the fuel. Use only
containers designed for fuel storage.
- If your area has been without electricity, check for food spoilage
when power is restored. If ice crystals are still visible in frozen
meats, the meat can sometimes be safely refrozen. If food has warmed to
room temperature for an indefinite period of time, it is most likely
unsafe to eat. Odor, color, and appearance are not always good
indicators of whether foods are safe to eat.
- If your appliances became wet there is still a danger of electrical
shock. It may take a week or two for the appliance to become completely
dry. Keep it unplugged until it is completely dried. Call a
technician to check for damage. Be cautious when attempting to unplug or
move an appliance. Make sure the equipment and surrounding areas
are completely dry before attempting to unplug or move the item.
- If lines from a utility pole fall to the ground, assume they are
dangerous and energized. Do not touch them and warn others to
stay away. Call your utility service or 911 immediately. Never run
from a fallen power line. Shuffle your way through the downed line,
keeping your legs together. Shuffle away with both feet on the
ground. Voltage decreases as it travels away from a line but
running will cause your legs to bridge a current from higher to lower
voltage and you may receive a shock.
- If a power line falls on a car while you are in it, remain where you
are and wait for help. If you must get out because of fire or some other
hazard, jump free of the car so that your body clears the vehicle before
touching the ground. The best practice is to stay in the car if
- If a pool of water is nearby, a live wire touching the ground causes
electricity to fan out to the pool. Stay away from the water.
- A fence or guardrail touching a downed line can be energized for
several thousand yards. This can pose a danger to anyone coming
into contact with these structures.
- Don't try to rescue someone if they are touching a fallen line
because you risk becoming a victim yourself.
Call for help IMMEDIATELY by dialing 911 or your local electric service
for all power line-related emergencies