LIPA is reporting a total of 543 Long Island customers were affected by winter storm Saturn. Although every outage is significant and can cause major inconvenience to those affected, this is certainly a modest number. LIPA currently reports only 41 outages across the Island.
Weather updates indicate that Saturn is moving out of our area and that by Saturday we will see sunshine and warmer temperatures. But the aftermath of a storm of this size can leave us with ongoing hazardous conditions. Here are some safety tips and guidelines from LIPA:
· Treat any downed wire as if it is a live electric wire. Keep others away from it and do not touch it. LIPA warns that a wire can become energized if it has come in contact with an electric wire somewhere along the system. Report downed wires immediately to LIPA at 800-490-0075.
· Do not allow children to play around fallen trees. Although they may be a tempting playground, hidden electric wires often become entangled in fallen debris.
· Be aware that puddles of water, ponds, and metal fences could be in contact with a wire that is not visible. LIPA warns that even the ground near a fallen, live electric wire can become energized.
· Keep storm debris from roadways, utility poles and equipment that would impede LIPA and other emergency crews from working.
· If a power line should fall on your car, you are at risk of electrical shock; and you should stay inside your vehicle until trained personnel can remove the wire. If you are in danger and must exit the vehicle, LIPA recommends opening a window and jumping directly to the ground, avoiding contact with any metal part of the car.
· Never use charcoal to cook or provide heat indoors. Charcoal gives off deadly carbon monoxide gas. Make certain that all space heaters are used with proper ventilation—and never use your gas or propane oven as a heat source.
· Be sure to disconnect all appliances, equipment and electronics that you were using when the power went out, including major appliances, air conditioners and computers. Power surges can cause damage to them when power comes back on.
· If you have a backup generator, be sure you are familiar with LIPA’s safety tips.
· Remember that when the power goes out, often traffic signals go out as well, making for hazardous travel conditions.
You can report outages to LIPA online or by calling 800-490-0075. You can also quickly report an outage by texting "OUT" to 695472 (myLIPA). You will receive confirmation that your outage has been submitted and will begin receiving ongoing updates as the status of your outage changes (this service requires one-time registration.) To register text REG to 695472 or visit My Account on the LIPA website.
Share your safety tips and comments below or on our Long Island Living Discussion Forum.