Don’t wait. Be prepared before the storm

It’s your worst-case scenario. A major storm was predicted and this time, the predic􀀙ons were right. Many power lines are down, and your electricity may be out for several days. You are low on everything ––food, pet supplies, toilet paper, batteries, diapers and your medication.

Imagine how you would feel in this situa􀀙on. While you can’t predict which weather forecast will come true, you can plan ahead so when a severe weather event strikes, you have the tools and resources to effectively weather the storm. The Department of Homeland Security offers several resources to help you prepare for major weather events and natural disasters. Visit www.ready.gov/make-a-plan.

Preparedness Actions and Items

  • Stock your pantry with a three-day supply of non-perishable food, such as canned goods, energy bars, peanut butter, powdered milk, instant coffee, water and other essentials (i.e., diapers and toiletries).
  • Confirm that you have adequate sanitation and hygiene supplies including towelettes, soap and hand sanitizer.
  • Ensure your First Aid kit is stocked with pain relievers, bandages and other medical essentials, and make sure your prescriptions are current.
  • Set aside basic household items you will need, including flashlights, batteries, a manual can opener and portable, battery-powered radio or TV.
  • Organize emergency supplies so they are together in an easily accessible location.

During a prolonged outage

In the event of an outage, turn off appliances, TVs, computers and other sensitive electronics. This will help avert damage from a power surge, and will also help prevent overloading the circuits during power restoration. That said, do leave one light on so you will know when power is restored. If utilizing a small household generator, consider using LED holiday lights to illuminate a living area. A strand of 100 white lights draws little energy yet produces considerable light. Solar lights also work, if they can receive some sunlight during the day for charging.

During thunderstorms, the American Red Cross recommends avoiding electrical equipment and land-based telephones. Use battery-powered TVs and radios instead. Keep away from windows. Listen to local news or NOAA Weather Radio for emergency updates. After the storm, avoid downed power lines and walking through flooded areas where power lines could be submerged. Allow ample room for utility crews to safely perform their jobs – including on your property.

Harvest Safety Tips for Farmworkers

  • Maintain a 10-foot clearance around all utility equipment in all directions.
  • Use a spotter and deployed flags to maintain safe distances from powerlines and other equipment when doing field work.
  • If your equipment makes contact with an energized of downed power line, contact us immediately by phone and remain inside the vehicle until the power line is de-energized. In case of smoke of fire, exit the cab by making a solid jump out the cab, wihout touching it at the same time, and hop away to safety.
  • Consider equipment and cargo extensions of your vehicle. Lumber, hay, tree limbs, irrigation pipe and even bulk materials can conduct electricity, so keep them out of contact with electrical equipment.