Winter Storm Safety
Stay away from downed power lines
In a winter storm emergency, restoring power and heat to consumers is the highest priority, and electric utility crews work around the clock to restore service. Even so, it can take days to repair the devastating damage of a winter storm. If you are in the midst of storm recovery, avoid going outside if possible. Downed power lines could be submerged in snow and ice and difficult to identify. When outside, treat all downed and hanging lines as if they are energized electric lines: Stay away, warn others to stay away and immediately contact your utility company. Remember that downed power lines do NOT have to be arcing, sparking or moving to be live and deadly.
For more information on winter storm preparedness, visit www.safeelectricity.org
Prepare a Winter Survival Kit
Severe winter storms often bring heavy accumulation of ice and snow, which can lead to downed power lines and extended outages. BREC crews will work hard to restore power, but having a winter survival kit on hand is a smart idea.
- Food: Store food that does not require cooking, such as canned goods, crackers, dehydrated meats and dried fruit. Keep a large supply of water on hand. Ready.gov recommends three to five gallons per person per day.
- Medication: Be sure to maintain adequate supplies of prescription medicine in the event of a major winter storm or extended power outage.
- Identification: Keep all forms of identification handy, such as driver’s licenses, photo IDs and social security cards. Bank account information and insurance policies are also good to have on hand.
- Other items: First Aid Kit, blankets, flashlight, battery-powered radio and extra batteries.
Stay Warm and Safe
Have a plan for an alternate home heating source in case of an extended outage. Some people use a fireplace, propane space heater or wood-burning stove. Fuel and wood-burning heating sources should always be vented, and make sure carbon monoxide and smoke detectors are working properly. Always practice extreme caution when using alternate heating sources.
If you decide to use a portable generator during an outage, make sure it is placed outside the home for proper ventilation. Do not to overload the generator. Use appropriate extension cords that can handle the electric load. Never connect a portable generator to your homes electrical system without a permanently installed transfer switch.
Follow these tips, and your family will stay warm in the event of a power outage. For more information on preparing for winter storms, visit www.ready.gov].