Severe weather can strike quickly creating a variety of dangerous stuations. We all have responsibility to stay tuned to the National Weather Service, local media, and emergency mnagement for special warnings or instructions during severe weather. The following tips are desinged to help you safely endure the severe weather anytime it impacts the Benton County Area.
Before Severe Weather Strikes
- Have a portable radio, TV, or NOAA Weather Radio on hand to monitor official weather forecasts and other important information for your area.
- Have a plan to move yourself and your family ---especially those with special needs-- to an alternate location in case you have to evacuate or experience an extended power outage
- Keep a supply of water and non-perishable food items on hand.
- Ensure first aid supplies and all medicines are readily available.
- Make sure flashlights are readily available and working and that a supply of extra batteries are on hand.
- Consider the need for specialty items such as prescription medication, baby food, additional warm clothing and a safe heat source.
- Homeowners who depend on well water should draw an emergency water supply in case power to their electric water pumps are interrupted.
- If you have an emergency heating or power source, learn how to use it properly.
- Have at least one traditional analog phone in your home that does not require electricity to operate. Cordless phones and phones with built-in answering machines will not operate during a power outage.
During Severe Weather
- Continue to monitor the media for important information.
- If you experience a power outage, please alert us by phone. Our main office number is 731-584-8251 and listen to the prompts. In the event of major storms. If you receive a voicemail, please leave your 911 service address, contact number, and if you witnessed any damage. During extreme call volume we check all messages but may not be able to call all customers back.
- If you anticipate an extended outage, consider moving yourself and your family ---especially those with special needs-- to an alternate location.
- Consider checking on others who may benefit from your assistance.
- Consider all downed power lines and anything touching them energized and DANGEROUS! DO not get near them and report the problem to BCES.
- Don't open freezers and refrigerators any more than absolutely necessary. Opening these appliances will allow food to thaw more quickly.
- During severe weather or power outages, turn off as many appliances and electronics as possible. This will reduce the potential for damage or fire. After the power is restored, wait 5 to 10 minutes before turning them back on.
After Severe Weather
- Replenish your supplies of batteries, bottled water, and non-perishable food items in preparation for future storms
- Have a licensed electrician disconnect your generator unless the generator has an automatic disconnection device/transfer switch.
Safety Around Power Lines
- Stay away from downed or sagging power lines, and do not touch anything that is on or near a power line (trees or tree limbs, cars, ladders).)
- Keep children and family pets away from areas where lines may have fallen(backyards, fields, school yards,etc.)
- If a power line falls across a car that you're in, stay in the car. If you MUST get out of the car due to a fire or other immediate life-threatening situation, do your best to jump clear of the car and land on both feet. Be sure that no part of your body is touching the car when your feet touch the ground.
- Report all power line hazards to BCES or your local emergency services deparment or agency.