Severe storms can occur at almost any time of the year. Along with wind, water and temperature damage, storms can bring with them prolonged power outages caused by downed electrical lines, damaged transmission equipment and overuse of the power grid. Keeping you, your family and your home safe during power outages requires getting ready for inclement weather and being aware of what to do during and after a storm.
Before the storm hits:
- Check emergency equipment such as flashlights and AM/FM radios to make sure they're working. Install fresh batteries regularly and maintain an extra supply of batteries. Keep a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration weather radio that broadcasts weather information and provides alerts when the weather becomes severe.
- Make sure you have enough fuel for generators. Review and understand safety procedures for operating these potentially dangerous devices.
- Maintain at least a three-day supply of drinking water (one gallon per day per person) and nonperishable food. If you supply water to your home with a well, it is a good idea to fill bath tubs with water. In this way you can fill the toilet flush tanks so that you can continue to flush toilets while you are waiting for power to be restored.
- Make sure all members of your family know where to find and shut off water valves, electric circuit breakers, gas and fuel supply lines and other utility connections. Many of these valves are not exercised very often, so make sure they will close before you need to do it in an emergency.
- Devise a plan for evacuating your home and determine meeting places for later if your family gets separated.
- Keep a seven-day supply of medication on hand.
During the storm:
- Dress appropriately for the temperature; wear layers in the cold, and don't overdress if it's warm. Keep cold-weather and wet-weather gear available if needed. Stay as warm and dry as possible, but make sure to have a supply of dry clothing available if you need to change.
- Use a surge protector or unplug appliances, televisions, computers and other electronics that could be damaged by electrical power surges.
After it's over:
- Keep away from downed power lines, tree limbs and other outdoor dangers. Assume any downed power line is live and dangerous.
- Stay off the streets and keep them clear for emergency and repair vehicles.
- Help neighbors, especially the elderly or disabled.
Customers in Cleveland and the surrounding areas can rely on P.K. Wadsworth Heating & Cooling's more than 75 years of professional HVAC industry experience. Contact us today for more information on getting ready for inclement weather and staying safe during storm-caused power outages.
Paul Wadsworth is the President and Owner of P.K. Wadsworth Heating and Cooling. For 37 years, Paul has been providing heating and cooling services to the Greater Cleveland area. P.K. Wadsworth has been a trusted Cleveland HVAC service company for 75 years. The company understand the area's construction and local heating and air conditioning needs. Paul has an MBA from the University of Michigan and a B.S., Industrial Engineering from Purdue University. He's been President of the Cleveland Air Conditioning Contractors of America and a founding member of the local chapter. Paul was born and raised in Cleveland and has been active in the local community. He resides in Cleveland, Ohio with his wife and two sons.
The opinions and statements contained in this article are for general informational purposes only and are not instructions. Only trained, licensed and experienced personnel should attempt installation/repair. The author assumes no liability for the opinions/statements made in this article. Any individual attempting a repair or installation based on this article does so at their own risk of loss.