What to do after the storm

Published 5:20 pm Tuesday, August 4, 2020

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Now that Tropical Storm Isaias has come and gone, it’s time to start cleaning up.
As a reminder, below are some safety tips that you will need during the aftermath of the storm.
Beware of downed power lines. Assume they are energized and dangerous. Very high winds and rain can cause trees and branches to fall, which may bring down power lines. Stay at least 30 feet away and make sure your family, pets, and neighbors also avoid the downed wire. Call right away to report the downed wire. Dominion customers should call 1-866-DOM-HELP (1-866-366-4357). Community Electric Cooperative members should call 757-242-6181 or 757-242-6181.

  • Never run a generator inside a home, garage, basement, crawlspace or any partially enclosed area. Keep them outdoors, away from doors, windows and vents that could allow carbon monoxide, a deadly gas, to come indoors.
  • Properly connect your generator. If you have a generator, be sure it is fueled, tested and properly connected before the severe weather arrives. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions and always operate outdoors with good ventilation. Improper use of a generator could be life-threatening, not only for you but also for line crews working to restore power.
  • Listen to local officials for information and special instructions.
  • Be careful during clean-up. Wear protective clothing and work with someone else.
  • Do not touch electrical equipment if it is wet or if you are standing in water. If it is safe to do so, turn off electricity at the main breaker or fuse box to prevent electric shock.
  • Avoid wading in flood water, which can contain dangerous debris. Underground or downed power lines can also electrically charge the water.
  • Also, do not drive through flooded roads. Your car may stall or be swept away.
  • Save phone calls for emergencies. Phone systems are often down or busy after a disaster. Use text messages or social media to communicate with family and friends.
  • Document any property damage with photographs. Contact your insurance company for assistance.
  • If the power is out, use flashlights instead of candles.
  • Throw away food that may have come in contact with flood or storm water. Also throw away perishable foods that have not been refrigerated properly due to power outages. Throw away any food with an unusual odor, color or texture.
  • Help your neighbors.
  • Don’t forget about the COVID-19 pandemic. Continue to wear a mask, wash your hands with soap and water or use hand sanitizer frequently, and keep six feet from others whenever possible.

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