Whether you believe in global warming or not, the fact is we are seeing some climate extremes over the past few years. From the March windstorms of 2017, to the high winds Western New York has been experiencing lately, downed trees, traffic signs and flying debris can cause extensive damages.
During the Storm:
-In the case of lost power, call your power company emergency line. Even though you think your neighbors might have called, adding your address to their list ensures you will be notified when the power will be turned back on.
-In the case of loss of power, turn your main breaker off. When the power does get turned back on, there can sometimes be a power surge, causing damage to appliances and electronics.
-If you decide to use a generator, set-up the generator outside, and make sure fumes are not reaching inside the house.
-Candles should be used carefully and never left unattended!
After the Storm:
-After the winds have died down, and it is safe to go outside, survey the damages, but keep away from any downed power lines. Even if they are not sparking, always assume power lines are LIVE!
-If there are downed wires, contact the electrical company immediately. If lines are sparking, call 911.
-If wires have been pulled off your house, or there is visible damage to your electrical meter, contact your electrician and get on their service list. Riser wires and damaged meters will need to be repaired or replaced.
-Contact a certified electrical inspector for a safety inspection. (NYEIA 436-4460)
-Take photos with your smart phone for your insurance company. Photos can often speed up the claims process.
-Keep all receipts and documents for future reference.
*Please keep in mind that once your electrical work is inspected, your inspector immediately notifies the power company. However, the power company has up to 5 days to turn your power back on. In the case of widespread outages, their backlog may be extensive.
**If you are in a car where a power line or parking light has come down, do not leave the vehicle. Don’t panic, call 911 immediately and wait. Your car’s tires are grounding and protecting you from electrocution.
Emergency Numbers to Report Outages:
National Grid: 800-867-5222