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.
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)