Staying Safe Around Electricity Power lines

To help you and your family stay safe, OUC wants you to remember to:

  • Stay away from downed power lines and call OUC immediately at 407-423-9018 to report a problem.  Assume the downed line is energized and never touch or try to move it.  If someone comes in contact with a downed line, don’t attempt a rescue. Wait until OUC and emergency personnel can respond.
  • Look up first and keep cranes, ladders, tree-pruners, TV antennas and other equipment at least 10 feet from power lines.  Depending on voltage, electricity can arc to equipment that’s near a power line—even if it’s not touching the line.
  • Never trim trees near power lines.
  • Never climb utility poles or towers.
  • Stay away from electric substation fences and equipment.
  • Avoid flying kites or model airplanes near power lines.  If these objects become entangled in a line, they can become a conductor of electricity.
  • Stay calm if your equipment or vehicle comes in contact with a power line.  Assume the line is energized and stay in your vehicle unless you are in immediate danger from fire or a moving power line. If you are forced to leave your vehicle, jump as far away from it as you can, landing with both feet together. Be sure no part of your body touches the equipment and ground at the same time. Call 9-1-1 as soon as possible and don’t return to the vehicle until emergency personnel declare it safe.

Staying Safe During a FloodFlood

Floods are the most frequent and common natural disaster in the United States and often occur after a hurricane or several days of sustained localized rainfall. Flash floods can occur suddenly, destroying everything in their path. Stay safe by following these recommendations:

  • Do not walk, swim, or drive through flood waters.
  • Know types of flood risk in your area.
  • If flash flooding is a risk in your location, then monitor potential signs, such as heavy rain.
  • Keep important documents in a waterproof container.
  • Understand and review evacuation routes, shelter plans, and flash flood response.
  • Gather supplies in case you have to leave immediately, or if services are cut off.
  • Protect your property. Move valuables to higher levels. Declutter drains and gutters. Install check valves.
  • Downed lines can be hidden by flood waters and there is no way of knowing if a downed line is still live. Keep your distance – at least 35ft, and assume all downed lines are live.
  • If water is rising near your home or business, turn off electricity at the main breaker. Evacuate your home and do not return until waters have completely receded. Once back in your home, have an electrician check the building's wiring before using electricity.

Tornado SafetyTornado

A tornado watch lets you know that tornadoes are possible in and near the watch area. A tornado warning means one has been sighted or indicated by weather radar. Tornado warnings indicate imminent danger to life and property.

If your area is under a tornado watch:

  • Listen to your local radio stations, watch your local news or listen to NOAA Weather Radio.
  • Stay alert, watch for signs a tornado is approaching. Also look for the following: dark, often greenish clouds, a wall cloud, a funnel cloud, a cloud of debris, large hail, a roaring noise.
  • Find shelter. Stay away from windows. Go to the lowest point of your house or go to a room or hallway that doesn’t have windows. As a last resort, get under heavy furniture and stay away from windows.
  • If you’re outside and can’t find shelter, try to find the lowest point in the ground, such as a ditch. Cover your head with your hands or blanket if possible.
  • Learn more at - “Tornadoes” and FEMA - “Be Prepared for a Tornado”

Generator SafetyGenerator

If you plan to use a generator in the event of a power outage, remember these tips to keep you, your family, your neighbors and OUC’s line crews safe:

  • Place the generator outside your home and away from open windows and doors to prevent carbon monoxide buildup.
  • Plug appliances directly into the generator or use a heavy duty, outdoor-rated extension cord.
  • Do not use a generator in rainy or wet conditions.  Operate it on a dry surface and use a canopy-like structure to keep out moisture.
  • Learn more at Red Cross - “Safe Generator Use” and OSHA - “Using Portable Generators Safely”
  • Carbon monoxide (CO) – an odorless, colorless gas that can cause sudden illness and death if inhaled – from these sources can build up in your home and poison the people and animals inside.  Seek prompt medical attention if you suspect CO poisoning and are feeling dizzy, light-headed or nauseated.