Blackouts are a regular occurrence in Tampa, Florida, during hurricane season, thanks to heavy rains and high wind-speeds. And in the wake of hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria, the incipient threat of dealing with an extended blackout hits home harder than it has in more than a decade. As we find ourselves entering yet another hurricane season, Florida homeowners need to know how to handle a post-hurricane blackout so that they can keep themselves and their family safe. Here are three tips for handling a post-hurricane blackout in the Tampa, FL area in the best and safest way possible.
Flood-like conditions are common during hurricanes. Huge amounts of rainfall will very quickly saturate the soil and storm drains can become overloaded with sustained rainfall, especially if there’s a lot of debris. If you notice standing water outside your home near your HVAC system, shut down power to it as quickly as possible. Even if your power is already out, flipping the breaker can make sure that it won’t surge back on after power is restored. Large amounts of water can damage your unit especially if there’s power running through it. After the storm has subsided, call an HVAC expert to appraise your system before turning it back on.
You need to be able to keep up with weather conditions and potential hazards during a storm. Many people stop trying to check in once the power goes out because they have no way to see what’s going on. We suggest investing in a hand-crank radio to be sure that you can keep updated on any and all hurricane-related news. Generators may also be a handy way to keep power running and therefore keep you connected to the outside world: just be sure not to run them inside!
Widespread debris is common during and following a hurricane, and if your power outage is caused by falling tree limbs, you may be tempted to go out and try to assess the damage. If you notice downed power lines, give them a wide berth. They may still have power running through them, which will travel through the damp soil and leaves and may shock you. It’s better to alert the city to the downed line and let professionals handle it.
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