1. Following a power outage, unplug all your large appliances and electronics to prevent power surges when electricity is restored, which can often damage equipment and create fire hazards.

2. Remember the “three don’ts” when using generators: DON’T run a generator in the house;

DON’T run a generator in the garage; and,

DON’T plug the generator directly into your home’s main electrical system. The first two can lead to asphyxiation and the third can send an electrical charge back into the power grid, posing an electrocution hazard to utility workers.

DO run the generator outside in a well ventilated area and DO plug individual appliances directly into the generator.

3. If your home is flooded, turn off your electrical power until a professional inspects it thoroughly.

4. If you smell gas evacuate immediately and contact your gas company’s emergency phone number.

5. Make sure you have current identification. You might have to pass through identification check points before being allowed access to your home or neighborhood.

6. After the storm, check to see if your home’s weatherhead is damaged – it is located above the electric meter where the wires come out of the pipe (to be implemented on new installations). Utility workers cannot reconnect service if this piece of equipment – which is the homeowner’s responsibility – is damaged. If your weatherhead needs repair, please contact a certified electrician.

7. SKELEC often cannot respond to individual customers with special needs during or immediately after a storm. When warned of an incoming storm, have a plan in place for evacuating people with special needs. Know the location of special needs shelters in case you are unable to evacuate.

8. Visit www.nema.kn to determine your hurricane evacuation route.

9. Capture water in your water heater by turning off power to the unit and closing the water valves. If you lose water pressure, you will have about 40 gallons of fresh water stored in the tank. Store additional water in your bathtub and fill the washing machine with water. This water supply can be used for cleaning or to operate your toilets.

10. Clear your patio and yard of lawn furniture, toys, potted plants, and other debris that can blow around in high winds, causing damage or injury. Bring these items indoors or place them in a garage.

11. Prior to the storm, identify the places around your home where you can shut off your water and electricity. In an emergency, you might need to turn them off quickly.

12. Create a hurricane survival kit that includes: first aid supplies; water (at least one gallon/person/day); batteries; flashlights; battery powered radio; manual can opener; prescriptions; baby food and diapers; pet food; canned foods; cash; tarps; rope; bleach; trash bags; charcoal or gas grill with plenty of fuel; wooden kitchen matches; and a portable cooler. Don’t forget a hardwire, corded phone; cordless phones will not work during a power outage.