Electrical Safety During a Hurricane

Oct 1, 2015

Every year, the coastal United States braces for an unexpected call from Mother Nature. For the most part, the storms that start miles off the coast become nothing more than thunderstorms. However, in very extreme cases, they become tropical storms or even worse, hurricanes. On average, the United States will have around six hurricanes per year, with only two actually reaching the coast. Hurricanes not only destroy structures and wildlife, but also families. Major concerns during these natural disasters include downed power lines, which can cause extreme electrical hazards. If you are not aware of your surroundings, electrocution can be a serious threat. The best course of survival during a hurricane is to be aware and be prepared. Here are several guidelines to be aware of:

  • STAY AWAY from downed power lines, which could be live and pose an electrocution hazard.
  • Electricity passes through water, therefore always be aware of wet areas.
  • NEVER step in flooded areas of your home—these could be charged by live power sources such as outlets or wires.
  • If possible, use flashlights and avoid candles, which can become fire hazards.
  • Know where the circuit breaker box is, and make sure everyone in the household knows how to shut off all power; Shutting down all power sources is essential because unexpected sparks could ignite possible natural gas leaks.
  • Avoid contact with moist wood, which could become a path of electricity and a serious hazard if you make contact with it.
  • If you are in a vehicle that is touching a downed power line, STAY in your car and wait for help.
  • NEVER try to move downed power lines.
  • MOST importantly, always be aware of your surroundings.

These are just a few tips for you to consider during a hurricane to help keep yourself and your family safe.