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Electrical Safety During Disasters

By September 7, 2021May 15th, 2023Blog
a power pole lies broken on the ground after a storm

The devastation Hurricane Ida inflicted on Louisiana and again on the east coast including New York and New Jersey included flooding and downed power lines. In fact, Louisiana and Mississippi lost more power poles in Hurricane Ida than in hurricanes Katrina, Zeta and Delta combined. While many people are without power due to downed lines and power stations, many are also dealing with flooding. It’s important during a disaster to keep electrical safety in mind. We have tips for electrical safety during disasters.

How to Practice Electrical Safety During Disasters

  1. Before the storm hits, you should charge your cell phones and cordless landline phones. Be sure to charge these in a place that is less likely to be affected by flood damage.
  2. Unplug any electronics that aren’t currently in use.
  3. Don’t drive through standing water where downed power lines are also in the water. If your engine stalls, don’t turn off the ignition and don’t get out of the vehicle. Call emergency responders and let them know there are electric wires in the water and you are stuck.
  4. Never touch a fallen power line. This may seem like common sense but in the moment it’s important to keep calm, contact authorities, and stand back.
  5. Don’t try to turn the power on or off while in standing water.
  6. If you have any electrical appliances or equipment that have been submerged in water, do not try to plug those in or turn them on. These will need to be replaced.
  7. After a disaster, especially flooding, have a licensed electrician like Raceway Electric inspect the damage and make any needed repairs.
  8. If you are using a generator, be sure it has GFCI protection and a transfer switch. It’s best if you can have the generator installed by an electrician.
  9. If you encounter someone you believe has had an electrical shock, don’t touch them. Call 911 and follow their instructions.
  10. When power is restored, if you see smoke, smell burning or other electrical odors, turn off the main electrical circuit breaker.

Staying Safe After a Disaster

Hopefully, you and your family won’t have to experience living through flooding or other disasters. But if you do, be sure you practice these electrical safety tips to keep you and your family healthy and out of harm’s way. If you need help after a disaster, contact the team at Raceway Electric.