To make a storm-caused outage easier to cope with, keep an adequate supply of the following on hand:
- Flashlights or candles and matches
- Battery-operated radio and clock
- Extra batteries
- Basic first-aid supplies
- Supply of drinking water and non-perishable food. (Fill bathtubs with water also.)
Protect your appliances. If you have dimming lights or partial power of any kind, turn power off at your main breaker to avoid possible damage to appliances. During any outage, unplug as much electrical equipment as possible. This will help eliminate the chance of damage when the electricity is restored. When the power comes back on, wait a few minutes before turning your appliances back on. This will reduce demand on the Cooperative’s electrical system.
Do not open your refrigerator or freezer. The food will stay fresh longer if the doors are not opened. Before a tropical storm containing strong winds warning, turn up refrigerator to maximum cold. A full freezer will keep food frozen up to 72 hours if the door is not opened. Freeze a jug or two of water in your freezer prior to a major storm to help keep foods cold longer.
Secure outside items. During a tropical storm warning, secure lawn furniture and other loose materials outdoors. Wedge sliding glass doors to prevent lifting from their tracks. Windows should be secured with tape, plywood or shutters.
Shelter from the storm. Know where the “safe spot” in your home is — a small interior room such as a closet or bathroom with no windows. Leave a mobile home for safer shelter.
Use generators safely. If you use a generator, it should be hooked to appliances only — not to your fuse box — or you must use an appropriate double throw transfer switch to prevent electricity from flowing from your generator back out onto power lines during an outage. This back flow could electrocute a line worker trying to restore your power. When electricity has been restored, the switch will also prevent power from flowing back in and destroying your generator.
SVEC offers information and assistance to anyone who may have questions about the installation and use of a portable generator. Members with concerns about the use of a generator may call the cooperative at (386) 362-2226 or (800) 447-4509.