“According to statistics from the National Weather Service, in 2014 more than $75 million in property damage was caused by hazardous weather throughout Indiana,” said Tom VanParis, CEO of Indiana Electric Cooperatives. “While not all damage can be prevented, being prepared can minimize damage and reduce injury or death.”
Here are some helpful tips from your electric cooperative for staying safe before, during and after a storm hits.
Before the storm
- Make sure your cell phone is charged. Consider purchasing an external battery charger for your phone to charge it without electricity.
- Program the number of your electric cooperative into your cell phone. This will make it easier to report a power outage.
- Have a battery-operated radio available so you can stay updated on the latest weather watches and warnings.
- Remove dead or rotting trees on your property that could cause damage to power lines or your home during a storm.
- Unplug appliances and other electrical items, such as computers. Damage can occur from power surges as a result of lightning strikes.
- Have an emergency kit ready and create a family communication plan.
During the storm
- Don’t use corded phones or electrical devices that are plugged in.
- Plumbing and bathroom fixtures can conduct electricity. Use with caution.
- If caught outside during a storm, move to a low point because lightning hits the tallest object. Get in a crouched low position if you are in an exposed area. Stay away from water and metal objects.
- Do not leave your vehicle during a storm. While inside your vehicle, don’t use electronic devices. If a downed power line falls on your vehicle, stay in the vehicle unless it’s life threatening. Call 911. If you must exit the vehicle, shuffle away with small steps, keeping your feet together at all times.
Following the storm
- Be aware of hazards from exposed nails and broken glass.
- To avoid the chance of a fire or explosion, use a flashlight, instead of a candle or torch, to inspect your home in the dark.
- Since downed power lines could still be energized, do not touch them or any objects in contact with them. Call 911 to report the downed lines.
- If you notice frayed wiring or sparks, or smell a burning odor, shut off the electrical system at the main circuit breaker immediately.
- Know how to properly use portable generators if you lose power during the storm.
If spring comes in like a lion instead of a lamb, know how to keep yourself, your family and your property safe from harm during a severe storm.