Before, after storm safety tips

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, October 1, 2002

Electrical Safety Tips

As a tropical storm or hurricane approaches:

– Turn your refrigerator and freezer to their coldest settings because they will keep your food fresh longer if you lose power during the storm.

– Unplug your television set before lowering or taking down your outside antenna. Use extra caution if you must work in the vicinity of power lines.

– If it looks as though water may enter your home, it’s a good idea to open the main breaker in your electrical breaker box in order to cut off power.

– If you own a swimming pool, turn off all pumps and filters. If not, water from the approaching storm could damage them.

After the storm:

– If power lines are dangling or have fallen, stay away from them. Do not touch a downed line because it may be energized.

Call Entergy immediately at 1-800-9OUTAGE.

– Never attempt to plug in or use an electrical appliance or device while standing in water or on a damp surface.

– Be safe! If water was in your home, you should have your electrical wiring inspected by a qualified electrician before Entergy restores your power.

– Watch children closely. Make sure the children stay away from all electrical devices and wall outlets when water is present.

– Electric motors that get wet should be thoroughly checked by an electrician or certified repair shop before being reconnected to a power source.

– When personal generators are used, qualified electricians should hook them up. Also, main breakers should be opened to avoid feeding power back into Entergy’s lines and possibly injuring linemen.

– Keep freezer and refrigerator doors closed while you are without power. Food should stay good in a full freezer for about two days and for about six hours in your refrigerator.

– Dry ice will help preserve the food in your refrigerator and freezer. Ten pounds of dry ice can keep food frozen for up to four days.

– Once power is restored, check frozen food immediately. If the food is still firm in the center and contains ice crystals, it can be safely refrozen. If it has thawed, but is still cold to the touch, you should cook it before re-freezing it. Foods that have reached room temperature should be discarded.

– When widespread power outages occur, there is no way to have enough phone lines or customer service agents to handle all the calls.

The fastest way to report lights-out is to use the automated system by calling 1-800-9OUTAGE.