After a storm, FirstEnergy’s goal is to assess damage, clear hazards and restore power as quickly and safely as possible using our established restoration process.
However, when severe weather causes widespread damage, addressing every issue can be a complex and lengthy process to safely complete, the company said.
May is National Electrical Safety Month and people are reminded of the importance of taking steps to avoid electrical hazards in all types of situations, including the dangers caused by severe weather.
FirstEnergy offers some tips to help keep you and your family safe while our crews work to clear hazards and restore power:
Prepare in Advance of Severe Weather
- Enroll in our alert service to receive automatic text messages and/or emails when there is a status update for your outage.
- Follow your electric company on social media for storm updates.
- Create an emergency kit with items like water, non-perishable food, flashlights, batteries and a first-aid kit.
- Have a battery-powered radio handy or an alternative way to stay informed about storm updates.
- Secure any loose outdoor items like patio furniture or potted plants that could become airborne in high winds.
- Make a plan for how you will safely relocate in the event of a lengthy outage.
Stay Safe Until the Storm Passes
- Report power outages immediately by calling 888-544-4877, texting OUT to 544487, or by visiting our website.
- Treat all downed or low-hanging power lines as live and dangerous. Stay at least 30 feet away and anything they could be touching. Report downed lines immediately by calling 9-1-1.
- Stay inside and away from windows and unplug sensitive electrical devices to safeguard them from power surges.
- If you must go outside, avoid areas with significant debris, standing water or heavy mounds of snow, as they can contain hidden downed power lines or other electrical hazards.
- Watch pets and children closely to ensure they don’t contact any hazards.
Use Caution After a Storm
- If you’re without power, use a flashlight or battery-powered lantern for light instead of burning candles to avoid fire hazards.
- Stay alert for hidden electrical hazards.
- Never attempt to cut or remove trees or debris that may be touching power lines. Continue to stay at least 30 feet away from these areas and report downed lines to 9-1-1.
- Never drive over downed lines or travel under low-hanging wires or leaning poles and trees, which can fall well after a storm has passed.
- Look for designated cooling centers in your area, such as local government buildings or senior centers, where you can cool off and stay hydrated.
- If you’re using a generator, make sure it’s properly installed and operated and keep it outside in a well-ventilated area. View generator safety tips.
- Call 888-544-4877, text STAT to 544487 or visit our outage map for the most up-to-date information on your outage.
By following these tips, you can help prevent accidents and avoid dangerous situations during and after a storm. For more information and resources on how to stay safe from electrical emergencies, visit www.firstenergycorp.com/safety.