(Hilo, HI) – With the 2011 hurricane season upon us, Hawaii Electric Light Company (HELCO) urges customers to review their preparations for emergencies.
The best time to prepare for an emergency is before one occurs. HELCO’s website, www.helcohi.com, offers a guide to emergency preparedness. It includes key numbers to have on hand, checklists for emergency supplies such as a home survival kit and first aid kit, electrical safety information, power outage preparedness and recovery, household and food safety tips, and references and links to related resources such as the American Red Cross, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the civil defense agencies.
For those without internet access, HELCO also has available a free “Information Handbook for Emergency Preparedness” that can be picked up at the company’s Hilo, Kona, or Waimea customer service locations.
Both the website and the handbook will answer questions and concerns such as how to protect sensitive electronic equipment from a power outage, how to use emergency generators safely, what to do during a power outage, water use and safety during and after an extended power outage, and other important information.
If the power should go out, HELCO reminds customers to:
- Use flashlights instead of candles, as an open flame may create a fire hazard. Keep
- refrigerators closed and avoid peeking inside which allows cold air to escape.
- Turn off as many lights or appliances as possible – leaving one light switched “on” so you
- know when power is restored – and unplug computers, televisions, and other high-tech
- equipment to avoid damage from a possible surge as power is restored.
- If you’re preparing to leave your home, unplug or turn off appliances.
- If a member of your household is on life-sustaining electrical equipment, you should have an
- emergency plan for an outage. If you need emergency transportation to a hospital or other
- facilities with emergency generators, call 911.
- When moving around outside, stay away from downed power lines. Assume they are
- energized and dangerous. If you see someone injured after touching a downed power line,
- call 911 for help; don’t try to rescue them as you could become a victim yourself. Report
- downed power lines by calling HELCO at 969-6666.
- During and after a storm, stay tuned to local media reports on HELCO’s progress in
- assessing and repairing major damage. Call only if you don’t hear a status report for outages
- in your area or if you need to report an emergency.