Electrical Safety During Flood Conditions
One of the main dangers from flood conditions are electrical hazards, which many times are not readily visible. Water and electricity don’t mix!
In the event of flooding, NPPD will turn off electrical power to a home or business at the request of a customer. Call NPPD’s Centralized Customer Care Center at 877-275-6773 (877-ASK-NPPD), or your local public power provider, to have the meter disconnected. Please be aware, power may be turned off due to safety concerns at the request of local authorities, when flood waters threaten a community.
Here are some electrical safety precautions for residents and businesses:
Before flooding conditions exist
- Make sure the electrical circuit breakers or fuses are clearly marked for each area of your home or business.
- If high water is approaching and the floor is dry, turn off the electricity at the main circuit breaker or fuse box.
- Unplug appliances—but again, only if you don’t have to stand in water. If possible you should move larger appliances such as washing machines to a higher floor, or place them on concrete blocks.
- Farmers who have electric irrigation pumps should contact NPPD to be disconnected if they are threatened by flood waters.
- If you use a generator, only connect the equipment you want to power directly to the outlets on the generator. Do not connect a generator to a home’s electrical system. Consult a licensed electrician.
During flood conditions
- Don’t go into any room or basement if water is covering appliance cords that are plugged in or if water has reached the wall outlets.
- Don’t enter a room if you hear popping or buzzing, or if you see sparks.
- If you see downed power lines, call NPPD. Be careful around downed tree limbs. They can conduct electricity from wet or broken power lines.
- Individuals should remain a safe distance from all ground level electrical boxes, to avoid an electrical hazard.
- Before entering a flooded building or basement, make certain the electricity is off. If it hasn’t been turned off, or if you’re not sure, call NPPD or your local public power provider. Don’t go in!
After flood waters have receded
- If the electrical panel has been covered by water, the resident or business should contact an electrician to determine the safety of the unit. If the panel has not been covered by water, call NPPD or the local public power provider. This is a safety issue for both the resident and the utility crew.
- If your furnace was flooded, have it inspected by a qualified HVAC technician.
Know how to keep food safe before, during, and after emergencies. Tornadoes, winter weather, and other events may cause power outages.
Sources: U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission; Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Canada; Nebraska Public Power District.