Storm Preparation & Safety
Every household and business should have a power outage plan and an emergency kit. During storms and other disasters, WCEC Crews stand ready to respond. But when there is significant or widespread damage, re-construction and power restoration can take time. In the meantime, you need to make sure you and your family are safe and secure.
Preparation for prolonged outages should be designed for individual needs and circumstances, but some basics follow. But, anytime you have an outage, you should report it, one of these ways.
All should consider having an emergency kit with some basics:
- Members who require uninterrupted service for health reasons should have a backup plan that includes back-up batteries for essential equipment, a back-up power supply such as a generator, and alternate places to retreat to that have adequate power supply.
- Battery/solar powered or hand-crank radio.
- Lanterns and flashlights.
- Emergency lights for outlets that automatically come on when power goes off.
- Plentiful fresh batteries in varied sizes to match equipment.
- Fully charged power banks for cell phones and other electronics.
- Candles, matches or lighters.
- Means to stay warm: blankets/sleeping bags and stocked firewood for fireplaces.
- Water for drinking and cooking.
- Bottled drinking water in your freezer. If power is out for any length of time, the ice blocks help the freezer stay cold longer. If it melts, it can be used as drinking water.
- A grill or camp stove for OUTDOOR cooking to avoid carbon monoxide dangers
- A manual can opener.
- Non-perishable food for adults, babies and pets.
- First aid kit and medicines (prescription& over-the-counter).
- Soaps and disinfectants.
- Other necessary medical supplies and equipment for special conditions.
- Know how to manually open your garage door.
- Also, know how to safely use a generator if you have one. Periodically start it to insure it will be in working order when you need it.
- A way to get information from us. Ensure we have your current mobile telephone number and email address so we can send you alerts. Also, follow us on Facebook. And follow outage and restoration progress 24/7 HERE.
If your power does go out:
Anytime you have a power outage, it’s important to turn off all appliance and electronics. Just leave one overhead light on so you’ll know power is restored. Then, once power does return, stagger turning on appliance and your HVAC. This is especially important during large outages. If crews are restoring power to a substation, they may have to go much slower and restore circuit by circuit if the load is too heavy to pick up. Turning off your HVAC reduces the strain and can help get everyone’s power restored much quicker.
Portable generator safety – Generators can be lifesavers when used properly but can also be dangerous, and even deadly, when manufacturer guidelines are not followed. To learn how to use yours safely, READ HERE.
Avoid Fires and Carbon Monoxide Poisoning – Never operate generators, or camping stoves in enclosed spaces. If you use candles or lanterns, keep them out of reach of children and pets, and never leave them unattended.
Downed lines – Treat any and every downed powerline as if it is energized. Electrocution dangers are real. If you see a fallen line, keep your distance. Call 911 if it is crossing a roadway or if it is endangering the public, so first responders can stop traffic near the line until linemen can arrive to deenergize. If the line is on your private property and poses no danger to others, report it to us at 903-763-2203.