Storm Safety Tips for Downed Power Lines

Storm Safety Tips – Downed Power Lines

In the aftermath of a major storm, be aware of hazards presented by downed power lines. Downed power lines can carry an electric current strong enough to cause serious injury or even death. If you come across a low or fallen line, adhere to the following safety tips:

  • If you see a downed power line, move away from it and anything touching it. The ground around power lines – up to 35 feet away - may be energized.
  • You cannot tell whether or not a power line is energized just by looking at it. You should assume that all downed power lines are live.
  • The proper way to move away from the power line is to shuffle away with small steps, keeping your feet together and on the ground at all times. This will minimize the potential for a strong electric shock.
  • If you see someone who is in direct or indirect contact with the downed line, do not touch the person. You could become the next victim. Call 911 for help.
  • Do not attempt to move a downed power line or anything else in contact with it by using an object such as a broom or stick. Even non-conductive materials like wood or cloth, can conduct electricity if even slightly wet.
  • Be careful not to touch or step in water near where a downed power line is located.
  • Do not drive over downed power lines, or through water that has downed lines in it.
  • If your car comes in contact with a downed power line while you are inside, stay in the car. Honk your horn to summon help, but direct others to stay away from your car.
  • If you must leave your car because it is on fire, jump out of the vehicle with both feet together and avoid contact with both the car and the ground at the same time. Shuffle away from the car.
  • Call CMLP for downed wires not involving an emergency. Call 911 for downed wires involved in an emergency situation, such as a fire, trapped person of something unknown.
  • Read more safety tips and information.

Electrical Safety for Hurricanes

Prepare for the storm:

  • Charge all phone and communications devices
  • Unplug all electronics and move them to areas not susceptible to water damage
  • Locate an AM/FM radio, flashlight and extra batteries

Weather the storm:

  • Stay indoors during hurricanes and away from windows and glass
  • Never operate a portable generator inside your home
  • Never connect a generator directly into your homes wiring unless a transfer switch has been installed
  • Always use GFCIs in areas where water and electricity may come in contact

Recover from the storm:

  • Do not use electrical equipment and electronics, including receptacles, that have been submerged in water
  • Have a qualified electrician inspect any water damaged electrical equipment and electronics
  • Stay away from downed power lines. If you encounter a downed power line, stay at least 35 feet away and do not touch the line or anything that may be in contact with the line
  • For additional information about hurricane and tropical storm preparedness