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 battery operated portable radio, TV or Public Alert Device handy to hear local weather forecasts and other important news bulletins for your area.
- Charge mobile devices and consider alternative charging options. You could use a backup battery, auto battery charger or draw power from another device to extend the charge of your mobile device.
- Unplug sensitive electronics.
- Make plans for water pumps that operate on electricity. For example, a supply of well water should be drawn and a backup power source for sump pumps identified.
- Have a plan to move yourself and your family (including pets) to another location in case you experience an extended power outage or must evacuate. Be sure to plan for any special needs family members have.
- 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 or Public Alert Devices for important weather updates and news bulletins.
- If you experience a power outage, call WPS at 800-450-7240 or report an outage online.
- 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.
- 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. 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. A licensed tree removal company may be a better option.
- Replenish your supplies of batteries, bottled water and non-perishable food items. Test storm equipment regularly.
- Have a licensed electrician disconnect your generator unless the generator has an automatic disconnection device.
- If the storm leads to an outage, please be patient while we work to restore your power.
- Understand who is responsible for making repairs before power can be turned back on.
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).
- Consider all down power lines and anything touching them energized and DANGEROUS! Stay away from them and report the problem to WPS.
- 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 and call 911. 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.