If rain, lightning, and high-force winds blow your way, protect your home—and yourself—by not doing the following.
Dis Electric Forces
The folks at FEMA wisely suggest being wary of downed wires.
- Assume all downed wires are electrically charged and don't go near them—this includes cable TV feeds.
- Report damaged power lines to the utility company or emergency services.
- Before restoring power, remove any standing water in your home (a nightmare, we know).
- If a power line falls on your car while you're still inside, stay put until professional help arrives.
Ignore the Weatherman
Stormy Washington, D.C.
Life around the nation's capital can be dramatic. We're not talking politics—folks there have experienced wicked summer storms in 2012. But the area survived—and so have our beautiful new homes in Maryland. Come visit—when the sun is shining!
If the forecast warns of electrical storms, don't go hiking. Although the worst often doesn't come true, respect Mother Nature's threats.
- Unplug all electrical appliances before the storm hits.
- Stake tall garden plants, because they could break during high winds.
- Bring in flags and awnings.
- Don't park under trees. It's better to move your car to a more open area.
- If a major storm is being called, close shutters, and board windows. In fact, stay away from the windows.
Eat the Food Anyway
Losing power with a fully stocked fridge is a real bummer. You know what's worse? Getting poisoned from spoiled food.
- To protect your edibles, keep refrigerator and freezer doors closed as much as possible.
- Food can be kept in an unopened refrigerator for up to 24 hours—you've got up to 36 hours with food in the freezer.
- Discard milk and hard-boiled eggs if they've been at room temperature more than two hours.
- Follow any local orders to boil or disinfect water. Water that's been saved in bottles before a storm is good for up to six months. Longer than that? Toss it.
Be Your Own Utility Worker
Taking power into your own hands is a great idea—to a point.
- If you've purchased a portable generator, remember to have it installed by a licensed electrician.
- According to the National Fire Protection Association, never install a generator inside a building or garage—you could start a fire or risk death by carbon monoxide poisoning.
- If your home is powered by gas, keep a nose out for leaky connections. If you smell gas, open the doors, leave the house, and call the gas company. And never, ever light a match.
Ryan Homes Tip: Remove dead branches and limbs from trees when you spot them. They are the first to come down during a storm.