The high winds, extreme rains and flooding caused by hurricanes present many unique dangers. ESFI offers consumers important advice about how help prevent electrically-related deaths, injuries and property loss by taking a few precautions before, during, and after hurricanes with our comprehensive Hurricane Safety Guide.
Before a Hurricane:
If a hurricane is approaching your area, you should take the following precautions:
- Prepare a kit for your family that includes food, water and other essentials that will last for at least 72 hours.
- Unplug your appliance power cords and cables from outlets to protect them from power surges.
- Cover all of your home’s windows with storm shutters or plywood.
- If you are in a high-rise building, take shelter on or below the 10th floor.
During a Hurricane:
If a hurricane is in your area, you should:
- Listen to the radio or television for information and updates.
- Secure your home, close storm shutters and secure outdoor objects or bring them indoors
- Turn off utilities if instructed to do so.
- Turn off propane tanks.
- Make sure all appliances are unplugged.
- Use flashlights as a source of light. Candles are a fire hazard.
- Stay indoors during the hurricane and away from windows and glass doors.
- Close all interior doors and secure and brace external doors.
- If operating a portable generator, refer to ESFI’s Portable Generator Safety resources
After a Hurricane:
After the storm has passed, you should take the following precautions:
- Continue listening to the radio or the local news for the latest updates.
- Stay alert for extended rainfall and subsequent flooding even after the hurricane or tropical storm has ended.
- If you evacuated, return home only when officials declare that it is safe.
- Walk carefully around the outside your home and check for downed or loose power lines, gas leaks and structural damage before entering.
- Always assume downed power lines are live. (Refer to ESFI’s Downed Power Line Safety resources)
- Stay out of any building if you smell gas.
- If your home flooded and water rose above the electrical outlets, contact a licensed electrician before turning on the main circuit breaker. Any appliances or equipment that may have been submerged will need to be thoroughly dried and checked by a qualified repair person prior to being turned on. (Refer to ESFI’s Flood Safety resources)