Outage Center Resources

Outage Center Resources

Storm safety tips

Storms bring lightning, flooding, wind and dust that can cause power outages. While the best way to stay safe during a storm or outage is to stay in your home, here are some additional tips. If you have an electrical emergency, please call SRP at (602) 236-8811.

Staying safe during a storm

  • Follow your safety preparedness plan as well as the tips for preparing for an outage.
  • Minimize driving in an outage area, if possible. If you must drive through an outage area, be careful at all intersections. Treat intersections with inoperable traffic signals as a four-way stop, and proceed with extra care.
  • Stop at all railroad crossings, as the barriers may not be working. Proceed only when you are sure the tracks are clear.

What to do if you see a downed power line

  • DO NOT touch downed power lines or try to move them.
  • Stay at least 100 feet away from downed lines, as electricity can travel through the ground.
  • Call 911 to report the locations of downed power lines. SRP, along with area police and fire departments, will respond with urgency to these situations.
  • Should a line fall on your car, stay inside the car until professional help arrives. If your vehicle catches fire, avoid making contact with the vehicle and the ground at the same time. Jump from the vehicle, landing with both feet together; this stance will improve the odds of electricity traveling through one foot and out the other instead of running throughout the rest of your body. Hop away until you are 100 feet from the vehicle. This is a safe distance from the downed power line.

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Lightning safety tips for indoors and outdoors

Following tips and safety guidelines, provided by the American Meteorological Society and the National Lighting Safety Institution, can greatly reduce the risk of injury or death from lightning strikes.

Safe places

No place is absolutely safe from a lightning threat; however, some places are safer than others:

  • During a lightning storm, immediately find shelter in a substantial building or a motor vehicle (windows closed).
  • Large enclosed structures (substantially constructed buildings) tend to be much safer than smaller or open structures.
  • When indoors, avoid use of the telephone, taking a shower, washing your hands, doing dishes, or any contact with conductive surfaces with exposure to the outside such as metal door or window frames, electrical wiring, telephone wiring, cable TV wiring, plumbing, etc.
  • Fully enclosed metal vehicles such as cars, trucks, buses, vans or other fully enclosed vehicles provide good shelter from lightning when the windows are rolled up. Avoid contact with metal or conducting surfaces outside or inside the vehicle.
    See more safe places

    • Avoid being in or near high places and open fields, isolated trees, unprotected gazebos, rain or picnic shelters, baseball dugouts, communications towers, flagpoles, light poles, bleachers (metal or wood), metal fences, convertibles, golf carts, water (ocean, lakes, swimming pools, rivers, etc.).
    • If you are caught outside in a lightning storm, stay clear of trees or canopies. Crouch down, put your feet together and cover your ears to limit possible hearing damage. Keep at least 15 feet away from other people.
    • Stay away from windows.
    • Stay off the phone unless you need to make an emergency phone call.
    • Don't shower during a monsoon storm - lightning can pass through metal pipes.

Lightning safety rules and guidelines

  • Generally speaking, if you can see lightning and/or hear thunder, you are already at risk.
  • Suspend outdoor activities whenever you see lightning or hear thunder. Avoid water, high ground, open spaces and all metal objects.
  • Louder or more frequent thunder indicates that lightning is approaching, thus increasing the risk for lightning injury or death.
  • If you hear thunder, seek shelter indoors immediately.
    See more guidelines

    • High winds, rainfall, and cloud cover often act as precursors to actual cloud-to-ground strikes notifying individuals to take action.
    • Many lightning casualties occur as a storm approaches, because people ignore these precursors. Also, many lightning casualties occur after the perceived threat has passed.
    • Wait at least 30 minutes after a lightning storm has passed to resume outdoor activities.

Generally, the lightning threat diminishes with time after the last sound of thunder, but may persist for more than 30 minutes. When thunderstorms are in the area but not overhead, the lightning threat can exist even when it is sunny and not raining.

When available, pay attention to weather warning devices such as weather radio and/or credible lightning detection systems, especially if you are a school teacher, camp counselor, coach, lifeguard or otherwise responsible for the safety of others. Evacuation times are longer for groups.

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