Helpful Hints on How to Stay Safe this Hurricane Season
Safety First: When the storm is over, serious dangers still exist! Use extreme caution when removing debris from your yard. Tree limbs and other debris conduct electricity and can be hiding downed power lines. If you find lines dangling or on the ground, assume they are energized and contact DEMCO immediately at 261-1160 or at 1-800-262-1160.
Emergency generators: Use caution with emergency generators. Follow all manufacturers' instructions when using generators.
- NEVER RUN A GENERATOR INDOORS AS THEY PRODUCE CARBON MONOXIDE FROM THE EXHAUST WHICH IS DEADLY!
- NEVER PLUG A GENERATOR DIRECTLY INTO A SOCKET.
Main breakers should be opened to avoid feeding power back into DEMCO's lines which creates a life-threatening hazard for the public and power line workers! Always consult a qualified electrician to hook up a generator to your home.
Freezers/Refrigerators: Keep the refrigerator and freezer doors closed as much as possible to maintain the low temperature. The refrigerator will keep food safely cold for about four hours if it is unopened. With a freezer that is full, foods can stay frozen up to 48-72 hours. A half-full freezer can still keep food frozen up to 24 hours after the power goes out. Should the power stay off several days, dry ice can preserve the food in the freezer. Fifty pounds of dry ice can keep a freezer safe for approximately two days. Use extreme caution when choosing to eat food that has been defrosted.
Make plans for action: The best way to cope with a hurricane is to always be prepared for one. A hurricane warning is issued when hurricane conditions are expected in a specified area in 24 hours are less. If a warning is given, stay tuned to WJBO or local TV stations for official bulletins. Secure lawn furniture and other loose material outdoors. Fill the bathtub with several days supply of drinking water. Turn up refrigerator to maximum cold and don't open it unless necessary. Wedge sliding glass doors to prevent their lifting from their tracks. Check batteries in flashlights, stock up on canned foods and water, first aid supplies and other emergency supplies. Windows should be secured with tape, plywood or shutters. When a hurricane threatens our area, you will have to make the decision whether to evacuate or ride out the storm in your home. If local authorities recommend evacuation routes, make sure the house is locked and the water and electricity is shut off at main stations. Leave food and water for pets, since many shelters do not allow them. Take small valuables with you, but travel light. Make sure to gather important documents such as insurance, medical, special keepsakes and bring them with you.
Be Extra Cautious at all times: During high winds, electric lines can be torn down by limbs and trees. Any dangling line or lines on the ground can be deadly. Call DEMCO, 261-1160, to report downed lines, outages or any hazardous situations. Crews will be on the job 24 hours a day.