A storm is always ready, are you?
Would you know what to do if a storm brings down an overhead power line? If a car crash causes a padmount transformer to become dislodged?
What about a flooded basement or other area of your home? Would you step in that water to begin cleanup?
Severe storms can create potential electrical dangers, and electricity is something you cannot see, hear, taste or smell. Electricity is often taken for granted that it will work as it should. However, any number of conditions, including storms and their aftermath, can change that.
“Hollywood is giving us some sort of idea that if there’s a downed power line, that it is going to be crackling and smoking and there’s going to be a flame shooting out of it,” says line foreman Bob Schafer. “That’s not how it works. It’s really a silent killer.”
We assume electricity is always going to be there and that it is always going to be safe, and it is safe the vast majority of the time. Learn what to do when it is not and how your body could become its path to ground.
Besides downed power lines, storms can also leave standing water, which could be energized. “Any low-lying areas where you may have outlets or light fixtures could become energized, so you may end up with energized water in your basement, crawl space (or other damp or flooded area)” warns Schafer.
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Safe Electricity is the award-winning, public awareness program of the Energy Education Council, a 501(c) 3 (not-for-profit organization) established in 1952 on the campus of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. With offices located in Springfield, Ill., Safe Electricity operates under the University of Illinois Extension and is led by the EEC Board of Directors. Since the Safe Electricity program was created in 2001, it has provided thousands of safety-minded resources to its more than 500 utility members from across the country to help save lives and reduce injuries.