Get Ready before Severe Weather Strikes
Thunderstorms, lightning, high winds, hail, and flooding can all bring the wrath of Mother Nature to the doorstep in short order. That is why Safe Electricity urges you to get ready now—before severe weather strikes.
Assemble necessary supplies for a potential outage. Your emergency preparedness kit should include items such as water, food, flashlight, batteries, blankets, and a first aid kit. A full list of suggested items can be found at SafeElectricity.org.
The National Weather Service also recommends that you:
- Know the county you are located in and nearby towns and cities. Warnings are issued by county and reference major cities.
- Know the difference between a watch and a warning. A watch means there is the possibility of storms. A warning means a storm has been reported or is imminent and you should take cover.
- Keep an eye on the forecast, and watch for signs of an approaching storm.
- Turn on a weather radio or an AM/FM radio for information if a storm is approaching.
- Stay inside if you know a storm is headed your way.
The best policy is to plan ahead so you do not get caught outside in a storm. Lightning can strike up to 10 miles from the area in which it is raining, even if you do not see clouds. This means that if you can hear thunder, you are within striking distance.
Once the storm has passed, it does not mean that the danger has. Never touch downed power lines or objects in contact with those lines. Just because power lines are damaged does not mean that they are dead. Stay away, and instruct others to do the same.
Other considerations after the storm:
- If you are inspecting your home in the dark, use a flashlight rather than a candle or some other open flame to avoid the risk of fire or explosion due to a gas leak.
- Never enter a flooded basement if electrical outlets are under water. The water could be energized.
- If you see frayed wiring or sparks or if there is an odor of something burning, shut off the electrical system at the main circuit breaker if you know how and can do so safely.
- If you smell gas, or suspect a leak, get out of the house. Call 911, and notify your gas utility immediately.
Find more information on electrical and severe weather safety at SafeElectricity.org.