As Florida prepares for another hurricane season, the City of Leesburg reminds you to stay safe and be prepared. If a storm does hit our area, stay away from downed power lines —do not touch them. Electric crews will be working diligently to restore power as quickly as possible.
Follow these safety tips to protect your family and your home:
1. If your power goes out, unplug appliances and electronics to prevent power surges when electricity is restored.
2. If you have a portable generator, set it up outside in a well-ventilated area, and plug individual appliances directly into the generator. Operating a portable generator inside your home or garage can cause suffocation and plugging a generator directly into a home’s main electrical system can create an electrocution hazard for utility workers.
3. If your home experiences water leaks or flooding, shut off the power to your home until a licensed electrician can inspect the electrical wiring.
4. If you smell natural gas, evacuate the building immediately and call the gas company’s emergency number
5. Carry proper identification with you in case you need to enter identification checkpoints to access your home or neighborhood.
6. Inspect your home’s weatherhead for damage after a storm. The weatherhead is located above the electric meter where the electrical wires exit the conduit. The weatherhead is the homeowner’s responsibility, and utility workers cannot reconnect service if the weatherhead is damaged. Contact a licensed electrician for repairs.
7. Have an evacuation plan and know special needs shelter locations. Utilities typically cannot respond to customers with special needs during or immediately after a storm. If you or someone you know has special electrical medical equipment needs, notify the electric utility prior to the storm’s arrival.
8. To determine a hurricane evacuation route, visit www.FloridaDisaster.org
9. Collect water in your water heater by turning off power to the unit and closing the water valve. If you lose water pressure, approximately 40 gallons of fresh water will be stored in the tank. Fill bathtubs and the washing machine with water to clean with and to operate toilets.
10. Clear the patio and yard of lawn furniture, toys, potted plants and other items that could blow away and cause damage or injury.
11. Locate shut-off valves and locations for gas, water and electricity in the event you need to turn them off.
12. Create a hurricane survival kit that includes: first aid supplies, drinking water (at least one gallon per person, per day), batteries, flashlights, a battery powered radio, manual can opener, prescriptions, baby food, diapers, pet food, canned foods, cash, tarps, rope, bleach, trash bags, charcoal or gas grill with plenty of fuel, wooden kitchen matches, and a portable cooler. Consider using a hard -
wired, corded phone, as cordless phones will not work during a power outage.
Below are some links to websites that may provide useful information to help you develop a family plan for emergencies.
- Hurricane Preparedness Video - Disaster Supply Kit
- Hurricane Preparation - The Weather Channel - Video
- Pet Preparedness - Hurricane Health Video
- Hurricane Awareness Video with Jim Cantore
- Lake County Emergency Management
- Lake County Special Needs Program
- Florida Division of Emergency Management
- Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)
- American Red Cross - Central Florida
- National Weather Service
- National Hurricane Center
- Department of Homeland Security Disaster Planning