Indiana Electric Cooperatives urges Hoosiers to be prepared for dangerous storms that can strike during the spring and summer months. Sudden and powerful storms can devastate lives in a matter of minutes; in the past five years alone, storms have caused 40 deaths and almost $113 million in property and crop damage across Indiana.
“While not all damage can be prevented, being prepared can minimize damage and reduce injury or death,” said Jon Elkins, vice president of safety, training and compliance at Indiana Electric Cooperatives.
The best way to recover from a storm is to plan BEFORE a storm hits.
- Prepare an emergency kit and family communications plan that can help everyone stay calm.
- Remove dead or rotting trees on your property to decrease the chance of damage to power lines or your home.
- Program the phone number of your electric utility into your cell phone to make it easier to report a power outage.
- If someone in your home uses a life-sustaining medical device that requires electricity, alert your electric utility NOW. Plan to have a battery or emergency generation on hand before an outage occurs.
Once a devastating storm has passed, many people want to immediately venture out to survey the damage. Unless you are personally involved with family or close friends affected by the storm who you know need your help, please stay put. First responders, including electric utilities, need full access to the roadways rushing emergency services to assist injured individuals, evaluate damage, clear fallen power lines and trees obstructing the road, and perform similar crucial tasks.
If you have been caught out during the storm and need to return home, remember these tips as you drive:
- If you come upon fallen power lines, turn around and go another way. Never drive over or around fallen lines.
- If a downed power line falls on your vehicle, stay in the vehicle. Call 911. Exit only if your life is in immediate danger from a fire or other reason. Then, jump clear of your vehicle being certain to never touch the vehicle and the ground at the same time; then shuffle away, keeping your feet together at all times.
Following the storm, be aware of hazardous materials exposed by the damage, such as nails and broken glass. Avoid downed power lines that could still be energized and call 911 to report the downed lines.