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Utility Tips

By Staff | May 13, 2016


Locate the emergency water shut-off valve for your residence and remove any shrubbery or obstructions. Test the water shut-off valve to be sure that it is operational. If the shut-off valve is not operational, have it repaired or replaced.

Turn the emergency water shutoff valve to the off position if you are leaving your residence prior to a storm. This will help minimize damage to the interior of your home should a pipe burst inside.

Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations on turning off your hot water heater and unplug it. Some hot water heaters may be damaged if the water supply is turned off for n extended period of time. Locate your sewer clean-out lid and remove any shrubbery or obstructions in case the clean-out needs to be accessed. Due to power outages, water treatment plants will be operating under limited conditions. Water pressures will be reduced.

Because of reduced pressures and the limited operations of lift stations, water conservation is essential. If power has been restored to your home, it does not mean that power has been restored to all lift stations or water and wastewater treatment plants. To conserve water:

* Turn off all sprinklers.

* Remember to reset your irrigation timer once power has been restored.

* Abstain from running dishwashers and clothes washers

* Limit the amount of water used during a shower or the amount to fill the bathtub.

* Limit the amount of toilet flushing.

* Abstain from any other outdoor use of water that is not absolutely necessary.


* A strong storm or hurricane can cause significant damage, resulting in widespread power outages. Restoration efforts must be prioritized, starting with facilities that provide the most critical services:

* Damaged power plants and power lines from the plants, since these must be fixed before service can be restored anywhere.

* Organizations that provide critical infrastructure functions to the community, such as hospitals, police, and fire stations.

* Major power lines that serve large numbers of customers.

* Smaller power lines such as service to a single street.

* Individual homes or businesses still without power.

When a power outage occurs, safety is a very important concern. Here are some basic safety tips:

* Assume all cables and wires are energized and stay away.

* Keep away from flooded and debris-laden areas because they may be hiding downed lines.

* Run your portable generator outside your house or building, and connect appliances or equipment directly to it.

* If you leave your home, turn off appliances that may have been on when the power went out or turn off your main breaker.

* Avoid driving in damaged areas. You might interfere with rescue or restoration efforts, as well as jeopardize your own safety.

* Help keep telephone lines clear for emergency calls. Only call to report downed power lines, or if your neighbors’ power has been restored and you are without electricity.

* Don’t trim trees or remove debris located near downed power lines. If you must remove debris from your home, don’t pile it under or near electrical lines or equipment.

* Any damage to your home’s electric system must be repaired by a licensed electrician and inspected by a designated agency before power can be restored.

* Check your weather-head (located on the roof where your service connects to the pole) and your meter box to make sure they are not damaged.

* If you suspect there is water in the walls or ceiling, stay away from electrical outlets and contact a licensed electrician to repair the damage.

* If you need to live in temporary quarters on your property, a licensed electrician can install a temporary service pole. After the pole is inspected by a designated agency, your electric utility can provide power.

Source: Lee County Emergency Management