Stay Safe After Storms

 Stay Safe After Storms

Know How to Stay Safe After Storms

Severe thunderstorms, tornadoes, hurricanes, and flooding can leave more than damage in their wake—they can leave hidden dangers as well. In some cases, more lives are lost after the storm than from the storm itself.

“When you’re dealing with storm cleanup or flood-damaged property, the prospect of an electrical accident is probably not top of mind,” says Safe Electricity’s Molly Hall. “But it’s the first thing you should think of before you go outside, step foot into a flooded area, or enter a storm-damaged building.”

When outside, stay away from downed power lines and be alert to the possibility that tree limbs or debris may hide an electrical hazard. Treat all downed or hanging power lines as if they are energized. Lines do not have to be arcing or sparking to be live. Warn others to stay away, and contact your Sam Houston Electric Cooperative.

Do not touch downed power lines, and do not touch objects or puddles of water in contact with those lines. There is no way to know if they are energized. Encountering these objects can be as hazardous as coming into contact with a downed power line itself.

Staying Safe After a Flood, from FEMA:

  • Pay attention to authorities for information and instructions. Return home only when authorities say it is safe.
  • Avoid driving except in emergencies.
  • Wear heavy work gloves, protective clothing and boots during clean up and use appropriate face coverings or masks if cleaning mold or other debris.
  • People with asthma and other lung conditions and/or immune suppression should not enter buildings with indoor water leaks or mold growth that can be seen or smelled. Children should not take part in disaster cleanup work.
  • Be aware that snakes and other animals may be in your house.
  • Be aware of the risk of electrocution. Do not touch electrical equipment if it is wet or if you are standing in water. Turn off the electricity to prevent electric shock if it is safe to do so.
  • Avoid wading in floodwater, which can be contaminated and contain dangerous debris. Underground or downed power lines can also electrically charge the water.
  • Use a generator or other gasoline-powered machinery ONLY outdoors and away from windows.