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Nine things we learned after Hurricane Irma

May 18, 2018
Cape Coral Daily Breeze

LCEC shares some key things learned in the wake of Hurricane Irma:

1. Quality of life is dependent on electricity. Customers are urged to make a plan for food, drink, sleep, and sanity while power is restored. If health relies on electricity, have a backup plan. When considering assisted living facilities be sure to ask about their disaster plan. If you have power after the storm, assist those without.

2. Planning is the key! Have a family/home plan, a work plan, an evacuation plan, and a stay plan. Do it now! Visit www.ready.gov for proven plans that are easy to adapt.

3. If you evacuate appoint someone to tell you when the power is back on at home. Power companies have their hands full restoring power to hundreds of thousands of people. Having a trusted neighbor or friend that can check your place can provide answers quickly.

4. Even when there is no electricity, social media flourishes. Businesses should have a sustainability plan and be prepared to respond to social media posts and use the tool to provide information to customers. Individuals can rely more and more on technology for communication so have a plan to stay charged.

5. Debris and trees are going to affect the electric system. Air borne pool screens, awnings, tree branches, and furniture can take even the strongest of overhead power lines down quickly. Tree roots from overturned trees can rip underground wires right out of the ground. Prior to a storm approaching have trees trimmed by a licensed contractor and remove anything from your yard that could turn into a missile.

6. Downed wires can still be energized. Even though the power is out almost everywhere, wires can be energized. Always treat power lines with caution and stay away until restoration crews arrive.

7. Power cannot be restored when there is damage to customer equipment. Restoring power to a home or business that has damage to the weather head, electric panel or internal wiring could result in a fire. Know how to inspect damage to your equipment and have contact info for a licensed electrician handy. After repair, local government must inspect repairs prior to electric reconnection.

8. After a major hurricane, the electric utility knows that outages have occurred so it's best to keep phone lines clear for emergencies. In the case of widespread outages, there is no need to call. Customers who are the only ones in their neighborhood without power should contact the electric company and understand repairs may not take place until the end stages of restoration.

9. Utility workers will do whatever it takes to restore power as quickly and safely as possible. Many workers received damage to their own homes but they are trained to put personal challenges aside and give their all to restore power. Long days and nights, no days off, cancelled vacations, unique duties, unusual meals, and very little family life.

(Source: LCEC; compiled by electric utility workers)

 
 
 

 

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