Flooding: Knowledge Can be a Lifesaver

Heavy rains, snowmelt and rising water levels can all cause flooding. As the flood waters rise, so do your chances of electrical injury — even in your own home.

According to the Federal Emergency Disaster Agency, floods are one of the most common hazards in the United Sates. Whether it is a flash flood or an inland flood, there are many electrical dangers in your home that you need to be aware of to keep your family safe.

Here are two steps you can take before flooding begins to affect the safety of your home:

1. Have a sump pump with a backup battery in case the power goes out, as well as an alarm to alert you of flooding.

2. Elevate the water heater, electric panel, and furnace to keep them clear of potential floodwaters.

Here are some suggestions to help keep you and your family safe during flooding:

1. Never attempt to turn off power at the breaker box if you must stand in water to do so. If you cannot reach your breaker box safely, call your electric utility to shut off power at the meter.

2. Never use electric appliances or touch electric wires, switches or fuses when you are wet or standing in water.

3. Never step into a flooded basement or other room if water may be in contact with electrical outlets, appliances or cords.

4. Replace appliances and electronics that are water damaged.

5. If instructed to evacuate, turn off utilities at the main switch before leaving. Unplug appliances and electronics. Upon return, do not re-enter your home until you are certain it is safe.