CHELCO wants members to be prepared for any emergency, so here are some steps to take before, during and after a storm
Before the Storm:
- Make sure CHELCO has your contact information on file. Check your bill or call (850) 892-2111 to make sure we have your current address, phone number and email address (if applicable).
- Put together an emergency kit and plan. Communicate the plan with friends and family.
- Know the elevation level of your property and whether the land is flood-prone. This will help prepare for the storm surge and any tidal flooding.
- Secure the home: cover all windows with either storm shutters or boards, clear loose and clogged rain gutters and bring all outdoor furniture indoors.
- Learn your community hurricane evacuation routes, and keep enough gas in your vehicle to evacuate if necessary.
During the Storm:
- Listen to the radio or TV for information, if possible.
- Avoid using the phone, unless there is an emergency.
- Turn off utilities if instructed to do so. Otherwise, keep the refrigerator thermostat on the coldest setting and keep the doors closed.
After the Storm:
- Be aware of lines or cables lying on the ground. “Most people are not able to determine if the line or cable poses a danger, so it is bet to avoid them altogether,” said Fugate.
- Dial 911 or call any CHELCO office to report downed lines.
- Drive only if necessary and avoid flooded roads. Watch out for fallen objects, downed power lines and weakened walls, bridges or sidewalks.
- Never use a generator inside the home, garage, crawlspace, shed or similar area. Deadly levels of carbon monoxide can quickly become toxic.