How to Prepare Home Electrical System for Hurricanes
You've probably heard a lot about how to prepare for a hurricane with food, evacuations and so on. But something not everyone thinks about is their home utilities - in particular, the electrical system of their home. Whether you’re a homeowner or an electrician, you're likely to be very busy when a hurricane is on the way, making sure that your home and others’ homes will be protected as much as possible. Knowing what you need to do before and after a hurricane will help keep your home protected. Here are our hurricane preparedness tips to help you protect your electricity.
Why Electrical Systems Need Extra Care
Even though it can be easy to forget in the hustle and bustle of getting yourself and your family ready for a hurricane and possible evacuation, your electrical system actually needs some particular care before a hurricane comes. There are two reasons for this. First, your electrical system can be easily damaged by wind and water, so doing everything you can to protect it will minimize the repairs you may need to make. Second, if your electrical system is damaged, it can be extremely dangerous for you and your family.
This preparation needs to be taken seriously. Our hurricane preparedness tips include what to do before, during, and after a hurricane for maximum safety.
What to Do Before a Hurricane
The best way to make sure you and your family will be safe and that your electrical system will be protected is to do careful preparation before the hurricane comes. In fact, doing some preparation before there's even the threat of a hurricane can be even better. One of the things you can do before there's a hurricane is to have an electrician check your home for any electrical issues. Getting ahead of repairs will cause you fewer problems when a hurricane is coming.
When the hurricane does head your way, there are a few things you should always make sure to do. First, you should make sure you know where your electrical panel is. This is important because if your home begins to flood or the storm is very severe, you will need to turn off the power in your house entirely, and you can do that with the main circuit breaker switch. It’s a good idea to shut power off in your home when a hurricane comes, just in case of flooding or severe storms.
Speaking of power surges, the next thing you should do is make sure you have surge protectors in your home. These can be small power strips, and they can offer some protection. However, when you're dealing with much larger power surges that can come during hurricanes, you may instead want to have a whole-home surge protector. It will handle large power surges much better than small power strips.
Another way to keep appliances and devices in your home safe in case of power surges is to unplug them as the storm gets closer. This means that you should have any phones and other devices fully charged before the storm is imminent so you can communicate with family and receive updates on the storm.
If you know or think that there's a possibility that you and your family need to evacuate, unplug appliances and turn off your house's power before you leave. Making sure that the power is off in your home and that your appliances are disconnected from the electricity will significantly minimize the damage that can occur in your home while you’re gone.
Before a storm comes, you'll also want to make sure you have sources of power that you can rely on if the electricity does go out. For example, you may want a generator for your home, which will need to be installed well in advance of the storm.
How to Stay Safe During a Storm
Most of our hurricane preparedness tips are for before the storm, but there are a few others to consider. If you have prepared well, you shouldn't have too much to worry about during a storm. The most important thing to remember is if your home starts flooding, or if the power goes off and you have not turned off your house’s power, then you need to immediately shut off all of the house’s power. This will protect against power surges and fire from electrical damage.
While your power is on and conditions are safe, however, you should do what you can to cool your house so the temperature can be maintained after the power does go out. That will mean dropping the thermostat lower than you normally would for a few hours; doing so should help your family deal with a power outage more comfortably.
What to Check for After a Hurricane
When the hurricane is over, you need to check your home for damage. Much of what you need to look for is water damage. If you can see that the water came inside your home and reached levels at or above the electrical outlets in your home, do not turn on your power again until an electrician has checked your home and decided it is safe. If your home sustained water damage, it could very well have electrical damage as well, and turning the power back on when the wiring in your home is damaged could cause a fire.
After the storm, it is likely that your home will need some electrical repairs. When that's the case, it's probably best to have a certified electrician handle the repairs so you can be sure that everything is done correctly and safely.
Stay Safe With New Electrical Supplies
In the event that your home is damaged and needs electrical repairs, you can purchase electrical supplies at Big Electric Supplies. Big Electric has a large inventory of circuit breakers, panels, and many other essential supplies that can help you repair your home.
If you are an electrician in an area with a high frequency of hurricanes, it's important to stay stocked up on your home electrical supplies so you can help people prepare for hurricanes and repair their homes after the storm. Even when your local suppliers may be a bit low on supplies, you can find what you need at Big Electric Supplies. Check out our inventory today to find all the supplies you need.