Don’t allow anyone to touch or drive over a power line. Always assume a downed line is dangerous. Downed or damaged power lines can send electrical currents through tree branches and metal fences, so survey the area carefully – especially if you’ll be using a pruning pole, ax or chainsaw.
When the storm has passed and power has been restored, it’s safe to plug in and turn on your appliances, but do them one by one, to avoid overloading a circuit.
Utility crews, along with law enforcement and medical teams, need to reach storm sites quickly to prevent further injury and damage.
What may seem like help can actually cause more work – and even additional outages – for our crews to deal with. Curious bystanders can hamper efforts to help people and restore power.
When to call an electrician
Depending on the damage, there are times it may be necessary to contact a licensed electrician for additional repairs.
By law, we can only repair the incoming service line and the meter itself. Repairs to weatherheads, meter boxes and other hazardous equipment should be done only by a licensed electrician. See the diagram to learn what equipment you need a professional to repair on your property.
DON’T do it yourself
Repairing the electrical service into your residence or building is not a “do-it-yourself” project. Leave all work to trained and licensed electricians.
Attempting repairs yourself is extremely dangerous, with the potential for serious injury and fires. It could also cause expensive damage to your home’s electrical system and appliances.
Avoid opening the refrigerator or freezer door. Refrigerated food will stay cold up to six hours; frozen food will keep for about two days if the door to the freezer isn’t opened. If the outage will be longer, pack refrigerated items in an insulated cooler surrounded by ice.
When the power comes back on, use a thermometer to check the internal temperature of the food; if it’s less than 40 degrees, it’s safe to keep. If frozen foods still have ice crystals, they can safely be refrozen.
For additional information about storm safety, visit alliantenergy.com/safety.