Spring brings flowers, sunshine, longer days — and the chance of storms. Ohio Severe Weather Awareness Week, which begins March 20, is a time to prepare for emergency situations that can pop up when severe weather, like thunderstorms, high winds and flash floods, strike.
Follow these six simple tips to help keep you and your family safe, prepared and connected in the event of severe weather and power outages:
Develop a strategy for you and your loved ones in the event of an emergency.. Identify a safe area, such as a basement or storm shelter. Also, decide now what your options are if there’s an extended power outage. And be sure to check in with the elderly and those who have young children or have medical conditions to ensure they are safe.
Make an Emergency Kit
Put together an emergency preparedness kit that includes (at minimum) non-perishable food, water, a flashlight, fresh batteries, a battery-powered radio or television, a portable cell phone charging bank, a blanket or sleeping bag, a first aid kit and any necessary medications.
Prepare Your Property
Storms can often bring high winds that can easily toss loose objects like lawn furniture,umbrellas and even trampolines across a yard – and potentially into power lines. Before severe weather strikes, secure any items that could be swept away by winds. And if the lights go out, remember to unplug electronics and appliances to protect them when the power is restored.
Stay Away, Stay Alive
Remember, all downed lines are dangerous–they, and anything they may be touching, can carry electric current that can cause serious or even fatal injuries. If you encounter a fallen wire, keep yourself and others far away, and call 911 and AEP Ohio immediately.
Remember, Safety First
Never operate lanterns, heaters, fuel-fired stoves or burn charcoal without proper ventilation to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning and fire. Also, if you’re using a generator, make sure you know how to properly use it — this protects you and our line workers as they work to restore power.
If inclement weather causes power outages, it’s easy to stay connected with AEP Ohio to report your outage and check restoration:
- Sign up for text alerts
- Download the AEP Ohio mobile app
- Visit the Outage Map
- Follow us on Facebookand Twitter for updates
- Call us at (800) 672-2231 if you encounter a downed power line.
Visit AEPOhio.com/Safety and Ready.gov for more information.