Your Storm Action Plan

Making a plan is key to staying safe during a storm. At OUC, our employees strive to work in a safe manner at all times, and we want you to think about safety too. Knowing what to do before, during and after a storm hits will help you to prepare in advance.

To help you and your family stay safe during storm season, 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.
  • BEFORE_yourstorm_iconKeep trees trimmed at least ten feet away from power lines. Learn more about OUC’s tree trimming services.
  • Update your contact information with OUC. Log in to update your content on myOUC.
  • Write down your OUC Account Number. You’ll want this handy during the storm in case you need to report an outage over the phone.
  • Fill your bathtub with water. If you lose water service during the storm, pour this water into a toilet to force it to flush. 
  • Other Helpful Tips:
    • Monitor local TV and radio broadcasts for up-to-date emergency information.
    • Consult and update your family emergency plan, identifying meeting places, contact information, and responsibilities.
    • Prepare your home by protecting windows and clearing your patio and yard of lawn furniture, toys, and debris.
    • Locate the nearest shelters.
    • If you're evacuating, take cash, credit cards, and important documents. Make arrangements for pets. Contact your local humane society for information on animal shelters. Plan an evacuation route and be prepared to drive 20-50 miles. Turn off electrical power and natural gas or propane tanks to avoid fire or electrocution.

Additional Resources:
  • Report an outage that may occur during the storm.  Note that you only need to report the outage once.
  • If you lose power, keep your refrigerator doors closed.  You want to maintain coldness of your food as much as possible.
  • Avoid washing clothes or dishes.  This helps prevent overflowing the storm water system.
  • Other Helpful Tips:
    • Do not go outside or drive around.
    • Go to a safe room with few or no windows at the center of the structure.
    • Monitor local broadcast media for updates.

  • Notify OUC of downed power lines as soon as possible.  Always avoid them and do not attempt to move or repair them.
  • Obey curfews.  It is critical to keep the roads empty so our crews can quickly respond to outages in the community. Don't go out until authorities have declared the area safe.
  • Do not trim trees around power lines.  If you have downed trees or limbs near power lines, submit a trimming request here. 
  • Do not drive through standing water if downed power lines are in the area.  If a power line falls across your vehicle while driving, continue to drive away from the line. If the engine stalls, do not turn off the ignition. Stay in your car, unless it is on fire, and wait for emergency personnel. Do not allow anyone other than emergency personnel to approach the vehicle.
  • Shut off electrical power if your home is damaged.  Doing this will help avoid fire and electrocution.
  • Use battery-powered lanterns.  Avoid using candles if your power is out to prevent fires.
  • Be safe around gasoline and propane devices, including generators.  Never use these inside, as these produce carbon monoxide which can be deadly if inhaled.  Learn more about safety with generators. 
  • Other Helpful Tips:
    • Wear proper clothing, including shirts with long sleeves, long pants, and safety shoes or boots, when cleaning up after a storm.
    • Familiarize yourself with proper safety procedures before operating a gas-powered or electric chainsaw.
    • Wear safety glasses and/or face shield and gloves when operating power equipment.
    • Never use a chain-saw overhead or in the vicinity of power lines.

Additional Resources