Severe weather can strike quickly, creating a variety of dangerous situations. Use the following information to keep your family safe during and after a storm.
Preparing for a Storm
- Keep a portable radio or TV handy to hear local weather forecasts and other important news bulletins for your area.
- Have a plan to move yourself and your family — especially those with special needs — to another location in case you experience an extended power outage or must evacuate.
- Keep an adequate supply of water and non-perishable food items on hand.
- Ensure first aid supplies and medicines are readily available.
- Make sure flashlights are working and readily available. Always keep a supply of extra batteries on hand.
- Have at least one traditional analog phone in your home that does not require electricity to operate. Cordless phones and phones with built-in answering machines will not operate during a power outage.
- Consider the need for specialty items, such as prescription medication, baby food, warm clothing and a safe alternate heat source.
- If you have an emergency heat or power source, be sure to read the manufacturer's instructions so you know how to use it properly.
During a Storm
- Monitor TV and radio for important weather updates and news bulletins.
- If you experience a power outage, call WPS at 800-450-7240.
- If you anticipate an extended outage, consider moving yourself and your family — especially those with special needs — to an alternate location.
- Check on others who may benefit from your assistance.
- Consider all down power lines and anything touching them energized and DANGEROUS! Stay away from them and report the problem to WPS.
- Don't open freezers and refrigerators more than absolutely necessary. Opening these appliances will allow food to thaw more quickly.
- Turn off as many appliances, electronics and light switches as possible. This will reduce the potential for damage or fire. After the power is restored, wait 5 to 10 minutes before turning them back on.
After a Storm
- Don't try to cut or remove down trees or branches unless you are absolutely certain power lines are not involved.
- Replenish your supplies of batteries, bottled water and non-perishable food items in preparation for future storms.
- Have a licensed electrician disconnect your generator unless the generator has an automatic disconnection device.
Down Power Lines
- Stay away from down or sagging power lines, and do not touch anything that is on or near them (i.e., trees or tree limbs, cars, ladders).
- Keep children and family pets away from areas where lines may have fallen (backyards, fields, school yards, etc.).
- If a power line falls across a car that you're in, stay in the car. If you MUST get out of the car due to a fire, or other immediate danger, jump clear of the car and land on both feet. Be sure that no part of your body is touching the car when your feet touch the ground.
- Report all power line hazards to WPS or your local emergency services agency.