Columbus, Neb. – Ensuring you have electricity starts by making smart and safe choices.
“When weather conditions create power outages, safety is at the forefront for our lineworkers,” said Nebraska Public Power District’s Director of Safety and Human Performance Chris Overman. “Our crews prepare for storms before they happen and will work around the clock to safely restore power when areas sustain an outage due to high winds, snow and ice during the winter months.”
Thursday, November 10, is Nebraska’s Winter Storm Awareness Day, and while line workers are always focused on safety, being prepared for potential power outages should be on the minds of Nebraskans statewide.
“Most Nebraskans understand the potential damage winter storms can cause and not to mention the possibility of power outages,” Overman pointed out. “But if the power goes out, we want our customers, friends and neighbors to take precautions and be prepared.”
Even before winter comes storming across the plains, NPPD encourages homeowners to assemble a number of items such as a flashlight, extra batteries, a portable radio, at least one gallon of water, and a small supply of food. Should the electricity be off for an extended amount of time, “it is best to keep your refrigerator or freezer doors closed to keep food cold,” he said.
Some Nebraskans have portable generators, yet NPPD reminds them to never run a generator inside a home or garage. “If you are going to have a generator available for use,” Overman advised, “make sure it is properly installed by a licensed electrician.” He adds using a barbecue grill inside a home or garage is dangerous and should never be done.
If your power goes out, a good practice is to disconnect major electrical equipment and appliances to provide an added margin of protection in case of unexpected power surges when the power comes back on. “You may also consider leaving one light connected and turned on so you will know when power is restored,” Overman added.
Finally, if a power pole falls or the conductor comes loose, stay away from it, call your local utility, and wait until professionally trained crews are able to remove the line. Power lines should be considered “live,” which means they hold the potential of electrocution.
For more information regarding power outage and winter safety tips, go to “Power Outages” in the upper right corner of www.nppd.com.