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Storm Preparedness Tips

Life along the Georgia coast is beautiful and a constant reminder of the awesome power of “Mother Nature”. On occasion we experience severe weather that can cause damage and the loss of lives. The key is to be prepared.

From thunderstorms and lightning, to tornadoes and hurricanes, Coastal Electric utilizes lighting detection networks, private tropical weather forecasters and local sources to closely monitors weather conditions.

When severe weather is predicted, we make preparations to ensure that crews are ready to respond. It’s important to protect your life, your loved ones and your property, that you prepare for storms, too.

One of the best ways to stay informed of our storm restoration progress is to “Like” Coastal Electric Cooperative on Facebook and monitor our posts during storm related power outages.

On Twitter, follow us @CoastalElectricCoop. Twitter


What To Listen For…

TORNADO WATCH: Tornadoes are possible in your area. Remain alert for approaching storms.

TORNADO WARNING: A tornado has been sighted or indicated by weather radar. If a tornado warning is issued for your area and the sky becomes threatening, move to your pre-designated place of safety.

SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WATCH: Severe thunderstorms are possible in your area.

SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WARNING: Severe thunderstorms are occurring.

HURRICANE WATCH issued for your part of the coast indicates the possibility that you could experience hurricane conditions within 36 hours. This watch should trigger your family’s disaster plan, and protective measures should be initiated, especially those actions that require extra time such as securing a boat, leaving a barrier island, etc.

HURRICANE WARNING issued for your part of the coast indicates that sustained winds of at least 74 mph are expected within 24 hours or less.

Once this warning has been issued, your family should be in the process of completing protective actions and deciding the safest location to be during the storm.

Before the storm arrives:

  • Have your emergency supply kit readily available
  • Review your evacuation plan. Have the phone numbers of evacuation destinations with you as well as a road map. You may need to take alternate routes if major roads are closed or clogged.
  • Listen to local radio or TV stations for up-to-date storm information.
  • In the event of a hurricane, prepare to cover all windows of your home. If shutters have not been installed, use precut plywood. Contrary to popular belief, tape does not prevent windows from breaking.
  • Fill your gas tank before a storm arrives, as gas pumps do not work if electricity is out.
  • Get some cash. Automatic teller machines will also be shut off if the power goes.

As a storm approaches

  • Listen to local officials and evacuate if they tell you to do so. If you are not told to evacuate, stay indoors, away from windows.
  • Stay clear of flood waters. If you come upon a flooded road, find an alternate route.
  • Avoid using the telephone during a storm. Electric shock is possible through phone lines (unless it’s cordless).
  • Also avoid water sources (shower, sink and bathtub) as lightning can enter a home through plumbing.
  • Disconnect electronic equipment such as TVs and computers to avoid electronic surges.

After the storm

  • Keep listening to local radio or TV stations for instructions. If you evacuated, only return home when local officials say it is safe.
  • If it is dark, use flashlights and not candles. Leave on a single light to alert you when electric service is restored.
  • Turn off or disconnect any appliance that would go on automatically when power is restored (stoves, washers, dryers and air conditioners).
  • If you haven’t already, disconnect sensitive electronic equipment (computers, game consoles, TVs, home theater, etc) in advance of the surge that can occur when power comes back on.
  • Minimize opening freezers and refrigerators. A fully loaded freezer can keep food frozen for up to 48 hours if the door has not been opened.
  • Even if your neighbor’s power is restored and yours is still out, remember that it could be a blown fuse or tripped circuit breaker.
  • Stay clear of fallen utility lines and avoid tree limbs and debris that could hide fallen lines. The limbs could actually carry electricity, especially if they are wet.
  • Do not pile debris near utility poles or other electric devices when cleaning up outside.
  • Be sure and report all outages and downed lines immediately.
  • Use caution with generators. Improper installation or use could be dangerous to you and threaten the lives of your family, friends, neighbors and electric utility crews trying to restore service.