Celebrating National Electric Safety: Electricity and Weather

Power for Progress…
A weekly column from the Grand River Dam Authority

After the storm … In this file photo from a few years back, GRDA Transmission Maintenance Crews make repairs to a downed electric line following tornado damage. If you see a downed power line, move away from the line and anything touching it.

After the storm … In this file photo from a few years back, GRDA Transmission Maintenance Crews make repairs to a downed electric line following tornado damage. If you see a downed power line, move away from the line and anything touching it.

The Grand River Dam Authority is proud to join the Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI) in promoting National Electrical Safety Month. For many Oklahomans May is also a month that can be marked by severe weather.

By following key safety precautions when dealing with electricity during and after storms, and other disasters, you can help prevent death, injuries and property damage.

Flooded areas
• Take care when stepping into a flooded area, and be aware that submerged outlets or electrical cords may energize the water, posing a potential lethal trap.

Wet Electrical Equipment
• Do not use electrical appliances that have been wet. Water can damage the motors in electrical appliances such as furnaces, freezers, refrigerators, washing machines and dryers.

Downed Power Lines
These can carry an electric current strong enough to cause serious injury or possibly death.
• If you see a downed power line, move away from the line and anything touching it. The human body is a ready conductor of electricity.
• The proper way to move away from the line is to shuffle away with small steps, keeping your feet together and on the ground at all times. This will minimize the potential for a strong electric shock. Electricity wants to move from a high voltage zone to a low voltage zone- and it could do that through your body.
• If you see someone who is in direct or indirect contact with a downed line, do not touch the person. You could become the next victim. Call 911 instead.
• Do not attempt to move a downed power line or anything in contact with the line by using another object such as a broom or stick. Even non-conductive materials like wood or cloth, if slightly wet, can conduct electricity and then electrocute you.
• Be careful not to put your feet near water where a downed power line is located.
• If you are in your car and it is in contact with the downed power line, stay in your car. Tell others to stay away from you vehicle.
• Do not drive over downed power lines.

Visit www.electrical-safety.org for additional safety tips and news.

Headquartered in Vinita, GRDA is Oklahoma’s state-owned electric utility; fully funded by revenues from electric and water sales instead of taxes. GRDA’s low-cost, reliable power touches 75 of 77 counties in the state. At no cost to Oklahoma taxpayers, GRDA also manages 70,000 surface acres of lakes in the state, including Grand Lake, Lake Hudson and the W.R. Holway Reservoir. Today, GRDA’s 500 employees continue to produce the same “power for progress” that has benefited the state for 75 years.

– Shannon Cook
GRDA Corporate Communications Specialist

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