‣ Before the Storm
Listen to the radio, watch television, or utilize your mobile device for forecasts and possible warnings. Listen to county and state officials regarding evacuations and shelter locations.
Have a battery-operated or hand-crank radio close in case you should lose power.
Gather emergency supply items including water, flashlights, batteries, portable power banks, a first-aid kit, extra medicine, non-perishable food, manual can opener, fire extinguisher, candles and matches, toilet articles, and sanitary items.
‣ During the Storm
Remain inside. Consult your radio, television, or mobile device for the all clear. Do not be misled by a lull. It may by the eye of the storm passing.
‣ After the Storm
- Stay clear of downed power lines, trees and debris.
- Listen to instructions from local officials.
- Do not drive across flooded roadways.
- Stay clear of moving water especially near rivers, streams and drainage systems.
- Stay tuned to radio, television, or your mobile device for weather and news bulletins.
- Conserve refrigeration. If you lose power, open the refrigerator only when needed.
‣ Double Throw Switch
To use a portable, commercial or PTO driven generator, as a backup power source for your home or business, you must first have a professional install a double-throw switch on your electrical system. The switches are available from Northeast Oklahoma Electric Cooperative and come as either a manual or automatic model. Throwing the switch prevents back feeding of power which causes several safety concerns. If power is back fed into the power company lines it could cause severe injury or death to linemen working on power lines or to persons nearby, especially those who ignore the warning to STAY AWAY from downed power lines. Throwing the switch also prevents severe damage to the generator when the power company restores powers.
The use of an extension cord that is connected to a neighboring house or business is discouraged. Depending on how the cord is connected to the home needing power, it too can result in feedback onto the power company’s line.
Here are some additional safety tips to remember:
- Do not connect a portable generator to your existing home wiring. Connect it directly to appliances, and only use approved and properly sized power cords.
- Operate generators outside, away from flammable objects. You should never operate a generator inside your home, business, basement, garage, or any enclosed area.
- Keep children and pets away from portable generators.
- Do not add fuel to the generator while it is running. Turn it off and let it cool first. Store the fuel in approved fuel containers.
- Portable generators should be properly grounded before being used. Read your owner’s manual for instructions.
- Be sure and follow all safety and operating instructions included with the generator.