In the event of a major storm, you should expect downed power lines and a disrupted supply.
Energy company BELCO has dedicated crews on call to restore electricity as soon as possible, with safety being the priority.
There are also things you can do to protect yourself in a storm and to prepare for any disruption afterwards.
Here are some safety tips:
• Branches coming into contact with power lines are the number one reason for storm-related power
Trim trees and branches away from overhead power lines before hurricane season to help reduce outages.
If branches are dangerously close to lines contact BELCO, so that we can arrange to interrupt power, while branches are trimmed back.
• Use surge-protection equipment to safeguard valuable appliances and sensitive electronic equipment. Disconnect equipment when severe storms approach.
• If you have a generator, maintain and operate it according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Check that it is properly connected and isolated from BELCO’s network to ensure your safety and the safety of BELCO line crews. Operate the generator outdoors only.
• If you have a loved one who requires life support equipment, make arrangements for care before a storm strikes. BELCO gives top priority to customers on life support, but nothing can be done to restore electricity in the midst of a hurricane.
Contact BELCO to ensure that your loved one is on the life support priority list (documentation from a physician is required); also please let BELCO know if priority status is no longer medically necessary, so that BELCO can attend to the people who truly need urgent attention.
• Discuss hurricane preparedness with everyone in your household, so that all concerns are addressed and nothing is overlooked.
• Locate a safe room or the safest areas in your home. If you don’t have a safe zone, know which public building is available to you for evacuation.
• Post emergency telephone numbers by your phones and make sure your children know how and when to call 911.
• Secure important documents in waterproof containers and have documents like insurance policies ready for use.
• Have essential supplies at home long before a hurricane warning is issued, including bottled water (one gallon per person per day, for three to seven days), canned foods and a manual can opener, paper plates and plastic utensils, prescription medicines, special supplies for children and the elderly, plus pet foods, as well as batteries and flashlights, candles and matches, and a battery-operated or wind-up radio.
Toys, books and games are good to have on hand, as well as baby wipes and other cleaning and personal hygiene supplies that don’t require water.
• When a hurricane is approaching, make sure your property is secure, vehicles are filled with fuel, bathtubs are filled with water for flushing and other essential uses (but not for drinking), and that you have cash on hand.
• After the storm, be aware of — and stay away from — downed power lines; they may be hidden in piles of debris or may have come in contact with and energized metal fences.
Are any power lines down?
To report downed power lines and power outages, phone BELCO at 955 or 299-2800.
This ensures that your problem is recorded in BELCO’s automated outage management system.
For more information contact BELCO at 295-5111 or go to firstname.lastname@example.org.