STORM SEASON IS UPON US
The weather forecasters are predicting a more active storm season this year with a weakening El Nino and warmer ocean waters. So what does that mean for us? How should we prepare? If a storm comes should we stay or evacuate? If we stay, would we go to a shelter or stay in place? If we evacuate where would we evacuate to? A major storm can hit the West Coast of Florida and still be devastating as it crosses the State to the East coast.
We all have to make our own decisions on what is the best solution for us. But, whatever that decision, it should be made early, and safety should be our number one priority. Those of us who have lived in Florida for several years know that it is difficult to judge where the storm is going to make landfall and how long it will impact our area. But, if a storm hits, we all know that there will be damage and repairs will be necessary.
As electrical contractors, we saw a lot of electrical services damaged by trees falling on overhead power lines. In some cases, the whole service was pulled off of the walls with the electrical lines still energized. This can be very dangerous and the area should be avoided until the power is turned off.
Portable generators can also be fatal. Be sure that you keep the generators in a well-ventilated area with some roof cover over them in case it rains. Never leave them running in the garage or on a patio with windows or attic vents in the area. Several years ago we had a customer throw a tarp over the generator when it started raining. and he was surprised when it caught on fire. So be sure that no combustibles are near the generator. If you live in a condominium the patio or balcony is not an option for the generator location because of the great possibility of carbon monoxide poisoning. Be careful when refueling. Always turn the generator off and let it cool before adding gasoline to the tank. Clean up any spillage and check the oil before restarting. Having a fire extinguisher nearby and a carbon dioxide detector in the house is always a good idea. If you do not have a generator power inlet box on the house to connect to the electrical system be sure to run the extension cords so that they are not a trip hazard. Do not go a serious storm alone, remember your neighbors during the storms, as they may be a valuable resource for you or possibly they may need your help.
Al is a State Licensed Electrical Contractor and owner of Al Siefert Electric. The articles he writes are about items of interest and questions from his customers. Please call Al if you have questions concerning electric service, installation, and repair.
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