Hurricane Safety: What You Need to Know
There is no substitute for being prepared. The employees at REC make sure they are prepared for storms before they happen. REC wants you to be prepared as well.
June 1 marks the official start of hurricane season, with the peak storm threat occurring from mid-August to late October. Summer also brings with it severe thunderstorms that can wreak havoc.
“We are your electric safety experts,” said Maxie Rozell, manager of safety, security and risk management at REC. “We practice safety every day and our tips can help protect you and your family during and after a dangerous storm.”
FOLLOW THESE TIPS TO STAY SAFE IN THE EVENT THAT STORMS OCCUR:
- Avoid wires and water – When lightning strikes a home during a storm, the electrical charge can surge through pipes and utility wires. That means you can be injured if you’re touching water or any device that’s plugged in, whether it’s a landline phone or toaster.
- Skip the makeshift shelter – During a storm, it's tempting to take cover under a picnic gazebo or golf cart, but in open-sided structures, a lightning bolt's path of least resistance to the ground could be you. On top of that, these structures raise your risk of a lightning strike because of their height. Keep moving toward a suitable shelter.
- Portable generators – Take special care with portable generators, which can provide a good source of power, but if improperly installed or operated can become deadly. Do not connect generators directly to household wiring. Power from generators can back-feed along power lines and electrocute anyone coming in contact with them, including line workers making repairs. It is best to hire a qualified, licensed electrician to install your generator and ensure that it is installed properly. Contact REC and inquire about REC Electrical Services. Our certified master electrician can install a generator safety switch, a safety device to protect you and our linemen. Be sure to only operate a generator outside, away from windows and doors to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning. Learn more here.
- Flooded areas – Stay away from downed power lines and avoid walking through flooded areas. Power lines could be submerged and still energized with electricity. Report any downed lines you see to REC by calling 800-552-3904.
- Electrical equipment – Never use electrical equipment that is wet — especially outdoors. It could be a potential danger after a summer storm. Water can cause damage to equipment and parts, posing a shock or fire hazard. Before storms happen, assemble an emergency storm preparedness kit to ensure you have the necessities in the event of extended power outages. We will do our best to avoid power outages, but sometimes Mother Nature has other plans. Be sure to check our website, as well as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram on your smartphone for the latest updates during a power outage.