Heavy accumulations of ice and snow or heavy winds can bring down utility poles, trees, and limbs—knocking out power for days at a time. Power outages can last for weeks during a time of freezing temperatures and added snowfalls. In addition to shutting down power and communications, snow and ice can make transportation dangerous, if not impossible.
Prepare an emergency kit before the storm:
• Flashlights with fresh batteries
• Matches for lighting candles and gas stoves
• Wood for a properly ventilated fireplace
• Prescription medicines and baby supplies
• Food that can be kept in coolers and canned food
• Manual can opener
• A non-cordless phone and/or fully charged cell phone
• Bottled drinking water
• Battery-powered emergency light and radio
• Home generator and familiarity with safe operating procedures
Ice and wind can cause severe damage to power lines, which creates safety risks. After a storm, avoid going outside if possible. Downed power lines could be submerged in snow and ice, making them difficult to identify. When outside, treat all downed and hanging lines as if they are energized. Stay away, warn others to stay away, and immediately contact Adams Electric. Remember that downed power lines do NOT have to be arcing, sparking, or moving to be “live”—and deadly.
After the storm:
• Stay inside, and dress in warm, layered clothing.
• Close off unneeded rooms.
• When using an alternative heat source, follow operating instructions, use fire safeguards, and be sure to properly ventilate. Always keep a multipurpose, dry-chemical fire extinguisher nearby and know how to use it.
• Stuff towels and rags underneath doors to keep the heat in.
• Cover windows at night.
• Keep a close eye on the temperature in your home. Infants and people over the age of 65 are more susceptible to the cold. You may want to stay with friends or relatives or go to a shelter if you can’t keep your home warm.
Ice storms can create hazardous and stressful conditions, but with the proper knowledge and preparation, you can stay safe. For more tips, visit SafeElectricity.org.