Barry is the name of the first tropical or hurricane threat to the Southeast. “The hurricane center still expects Barry to strengthen and become a minimal hurricane before making landfall on Saturday in central Louisiana. And it is projected to bring some intense rain to parts of the South through the weekend — up to 20 inches of rain in some cases,” says an Alabama news source.
Even if Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama are under threat now, Carolinians know how forecasts can change. They also know storms are a threat to more than just the coast.
ECC has blogged about storm safety before, and here is part of what we said.
Wind is an obvious safety issue in hurricanes. Another is the immense water damage they can cause.
ECC is not a safety expert, but here are a few resources that may be helpful. Remember to always listen to emergency management officials and your utility about energy safety. Do your own homework.
Popular Mechanics ran a safety column about the time Hurricane Harvey hit the Texas Gulf Coast a year ago: 4 Rules for Electrical Safety After a Flood. Its four rules:
- Never go into a flood-damaged basement or a basement filled with water until the utility company, fire department, or a licensed electrician has removed the home’s electrical meter from its socket.
- Once the building is pumped out and you begin recovery efforts, keep in mind that all flooded electrical equipment is almost certainly ruined.
- Pay increased attention to grounding and bonding, and after the flood ask an electrician to conduct a thorough survey the system.
- Even after the building is fully disconnected from the grid, never go into a flooded building alone. Put on chest waders, and bring a bright flashlight that clips to your hat or your waders so you don’t have to carry it. But most importantly, have someone standing by in case you need help.
Carolina utilities have good advice, too. From Duke Energy’s website:
- Don’t touch or attempt to move any downed lines.
- Don’t touch anyone or anything in contact with a downed electrical line.
Electric Cooperatives of South Carolina provide flood safety measures. Some of them:
- If you see a downed power line, stay away and call 911. If you’re driving, and a power line falls across your vehicle, stay inside until help arrives.
- If floodwaters are approaching your home, turn off electricity at the main breaker or fuse box and unplug appliances.
- If water covers electrical outlets or plugged-in cords, stay away. The same goes if you hear buzzing, snapping, crackling or popping sounds.
- Before entering a flood-damaged home or building, make sure the power is off and don’t attempt to reset circuit breakers until all water has receded.
- If your home loses power, call your local electric coop [or utility].
Do your homework. Be prepared to be safe.