Steer Clear of Damaged or Downed Power Lines After a Storm
In high wind situations, there’s the potential for power outages due to branches, limbs and trees coming into contact with power lines. Our region has been notified of a high wind warning, forecasting wind gusts as high as 60 to 70 miles per hour for most of Iowa.
We are monitoring the conditions and staying in close contact with our power providers.
Follow these safety tips to keep you and your family safe:
If at all possible, stay at home and off the roadways to allow emergency personnel and utility crews to tend to the injured and damaged areas. Make an effort to have alternative sources of light and heat available to you – whether it be candles, generators, or just warm clothing and flashlights with fresh batteries.
Listen to your weather radio or stay tuned in via social media or wherever you get your breaking weather information. Make sure your cell phone is fully charged. Tune in to a local station or check the weather app on your phone for up-to-date information and instructions. Weather conditions can change without warning and can move fast.
Our cooperative will communicate outage and restoration information via our social media platforms and website so if you aren’t connected with us, make sure to do so as this is the fastest way to get information to you, in real-time. You can also check statewide outage information on the Iowa Association of Electric Cooperatives outage map. Again, make sure your cell phones, laptops, and other smart devices are charged up to access this information.
Stay away from all damaged or downed power lines, and any object that may be in contact with them, as the lines may be live. Assume that all downed power lines are energized. Instruct others to stay away, too. Call 911 to inform your local utility of damaged lines, or downed trees that may be in contact with power lines. This is true of lines at your home, in your neighborhood, or when you are driving. If you come in contact with a downed power line while driving, stay in your vehicle and wait for a utility to make sure the line is de-energized before exiting the vehicle.
Before entering storm-damaged buildings, make sure the electricity is turned off. Again, contact your local utility if you need instructions on how to safely disconnect utility lines.
If you detect the smell of gas or suspect a leak, leave the house immediately. Call 911 and your utility to alert them of the issue. Do not light an open flame or flip any switches in the house.
Exercise patience during a power outage. In almost all cases, crews will not be sent out to perform restoration procedures UNTIL IT IS SAFE TO DO SO. And, If you come upon utility crews working on the side of the road restoring power, please move over and slow down so they have room to work safely! (It’s the law!)
Do not turn off power if you have to stand in water to do so. Call your utility and have them turn off your electricity at the meter.
Never drive through a flooded roadway. There is no way of knowing how deep the water is. A good rule to follow is to turn around, don’t drown.
Never enter a flooded basement if electrical outlets, cords, or appliances are underwater. The water could be energized by electricity.
When cleaning up storm damage outdoors, do not use electrical tools if the ground is wet. Also, do not use electrical equipment that has been damaged by water. Have your water-damaged items inspected and approved by a professional before using them.