Flooding Safety & Outage Tips
Heavy rains often cause flooding in lowland areas, homes and basements. Be alert to electrical equipment that could be energized and in contact with water, along with other potential hazards that create a serious danger of electric shock. Cleaning up and using water-damaged appliances also carry safety risks.
Safety measures to keep in mind include:
- Never step into a flooded basement or other room if water may be in contact with electrical outlets, appliances or cords.
- Never attempt to turn off power at the breaker box if you must stand in water to do so. If you can’t reach your breaker box safely, call your electric utility or electrician to shut off power at the meter.
- Never use electric appliances or touch electric wires, switches or fuses when you’re wet or when you’re standing in water.
- Keep electric tools and equipment at least 10 feet away from wet surfaces. Do not use electric yard tools if it’s raining or the ground is wet.
- If an electrical appliance has been in contact with water, have a professional check it out before it is used. It may need to be repaired or replaced.
A good preventative measure includes have GFCIs professionally installed on outlets. GFCIs are recommended for outdoor outlets, and outlets near wet areas of the home such as kitchen, bath and laundry room. If time does not permit installation before a storm, you can purchase portable GFCIs from a hardware store.
Prepare for an Outage
During flooding conditions, many homeowners rely on electric-powered sump pumps to keep basements dry. Severe weather and other conditions can cause power outages and delays in restoring power.
To prepare for an outage in wet conditions:
- Install a sump pump alarm.
- Purchase a battery back-up for your sump pump.
- Purchase or install a small generator for your sump pump.
- Check and maintain your current generator before you need to use it.