Hurricane Preparations

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WAPA urges you to be hurricane prepared and energy smart!

Prepare your home now before a hurricane threatens. Inspect the areas surrounding your home. Trim any damaged or weak tree limbs that could become projectiles during a storm and damage your home or nearby power lines. While checking around your home, take a look at your outdoor lighting. Replace those old incandescent bulbs with energy star rated compact florescent bulbs; and for extra energy savings, install a timer on outdoor lights.

Outages

Safety Tips

  • Never touch or approach a downed wire or anything in contact with the wire.

  • To report an outage or get an update call WAPA Emergency Numbers

  • Unplug sensitive electronic equipment because power surges or outages may be a danger during storms.

  • Customers on life-sustaining equipment should have emergency power backup, know how to operate it and test it regularly.

  • Keep refrigerator and freezer closed as much as possible to keep food fresh. A full refrigerator will maintain safe temperatures for up to six hours; a full freezer for up to two days.

  • Use hot water sparingly. Most hot water tanks will retain heat for up to 24 hours.

  • Switch electrical appliances off when the power goes out to prevent fires and equipment damage during prolonged outages. Leave one or two lights on to let you know when power has been restored.

  • When power is restored, turn on electrical appliances gradually. Sudden heavy consumption can damage the electrical system and extend the outage.

  • If used incorrectly, generators pose a significant hazard to both the user and crews attempting to restore power. Never plug them in to your breaker. Instead, plug appliances and fixtures directly into the outlets of the generator. Be sure to use generators in a well-ventilated area.

    • Never connect a generator directly to the breaker. A transfer switch must be used to supply generator power through a household circuit. It should be installed by a licensed electrician. Opening the main breaker to isolate household wiring from the utility's wires is neither legal nor safe. The household breaker does not provide a sufficient gap to ensure isolation of the energy, and the breaker may have been damaged as a result of the outage, creating a dangerous hazard that could cause a fire or electrocution.

    • Danger: Connecting a generator directly to household wiring without a transfer switch may create backfeed (electrical energy from the house to utility wires). This can create severe risk for the line crews. If the utility wires are re-energized while a generator is connected to house wiring, the generator also could explode and catch fire. Liability for any injury or death resulting from an unauthorized connection would rest with the person who connected the generator.

    • Connecting: The safest way to use a portable generator is to connect the generator directly to the load(s) being served. Some users wish to power only their refrigerator and a few lights and maybe a fan. An extension cord from the generator to the needed appliances or fixtures is the most effective method.

    • Ventilating: A portable generator uses an internal combustion engine which emits carbon monoxide, so it must be well-ventilated. Be sure to place the generator where exhaust fumes will not enter the house.

Stay clear of downed power lines