While the weather finally warming can be a welcome reprieve from the dreariness of winter, it can bring hazardous extreme weather. During hurricane season, you can expect severe rain, lightning, flooding, high winds, and even tornados and hail storms.
Since we must endure these unknowns before we can fully enjoy spring and summer, it is imperative to prepare accordingly. And with hurricane season set to officially start in just a few weeks, it’s an ideal time to make sure you’re ready. To help you get ahead of potentially hazardous weather, the pros at Acree Plumbing, Air & Electric are here to share some safety tips for hurricane season.
Prepare an Emergency Kit
Because it is ill-advised to use electricity or light matches during storm power outages, you should have an emergency kit with supplies for such an event. With that in mind, here are some electrically-safe essentials to include in your kit:
- Plenty of batteries
- Manual can opener for non-perishable food (Even if you have power, using an electric can opener is a dangerous risk to take in a flooding situation.)
- Wind-up or battery-powered radio
- Safety gear (If you must walk through flood water for any reason, you should wear the appropriate water-proof gear. This can include safety boots, gloves, goggles, etc.)
Learn Your Home’s Electrical Layout
In the event of hazardous weather, you should be prepared to shut off your power and utilities asap. In order to do that, you should learn the layout of your home’s electrical system. Therefore, you should familiarize yourself and your family with the location of your home’s circuit breaker and your gas meter.
Install a Whole-Home Surge Protector
Although point-of-use surge protectors can protect your larger electronic investments, a whole-home surge protector can cover all your devices. Avoid overlooking other important appliances like your washer, dryer, stove, and AC unit by installing a whole-home surge protector.
Invest in a Backup Generator
While a portable generator may seem convenient, it can become an electrical hazard if used improperly in a flooding situation. Because most portable generators are fueled by gasoline, they cannot be used indoors. Therefore, if you would rather not have to brave the outdoors during heavy rain or flooding, this is not the right generator for you. We recommend investing in a permanent standby generator as the most convenient and safest option during hurricane season.
No Downed Wire Is Safe
Even in the event of a power outage during a storm, a downed wire can still be a serious electrocution hazard. Because of this, you should avoid contact with downed wires and areas surrounding them.
Unplug all Electronics
During a thunderstorm, electronics such as TVs, DVD players, stereos, and computers can be damaged if lightning strikes. Furthermore, a wide-spread power outage can lead to a dangerous power surge when the electricity eventually comes back on. You can eliminate the risk of damaging your electronics or causing a fire hazard by unplugging them once electricity goes out.
Keep Your Power Turned Off
If your home has experienced flooding, you should immediately turn off your power. Since water can damage internal components of electrical appliances, like your refrigerator and washing machine, keeping them powered on elevates the threat of electrocution and fire hazards.
Turn off Your Utilities and Propane Tanks
Often during hurricanes, you will be instructed to turn off your utilities. Make sure you know how to do this, and how to turn off your propane tanks, as well.
If You Smell Gas, Follow These Safety Guidelines:
- If you can, notify emergency authorities immediately.
- Don’t turn on lights.
- Do not light matches.
- Make sure your gas line is turned off.
Do Not Step in Flooded Areas of Your House
If you can avoid it, do not step in flooded areas of your home during a hurricane. You never know if there are live electrical currents near the flood water that could lead to electrocution.
Now that you are armed with these electrical safety tips for hurricane season, you can prepare for anything! For extra help in preparing your house for anything Mother Nature throws at it, the pros at Acree Plumbing, Air & Electric have got you covered. Call us today at (813) 524-6313 or fill out a service request form on our website for help from one of our electrical experts!