June 08, 2017

Be prepared for summer storms

Water, blanket, radio, flashlight, batteries

 

Unpredictable summer storms can cause electrical outages. To help our customers and neighbors prepare for severe summer weather, Otter Tail Power Company has storm readiness information on our website at otpco.com. The information includes tips for developing a family disaster plan, suggestions for assembling a storm kit, and procedures to follow during a storm. We also suggest that customers follow us on Twitter for updates during significant outages.

Otter Tail Power Company Safety Services Manager Greg Overland advises residents and visitors in the area to keep ahead of storms by listening to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Weather Radio and by checking weather.com, commercial radio, and television for the latest storm watches (prepare for severe weather conditions), storm warnings (severe weather conditions have begun or will soon begin), and heat advisories.

A battery-powered NOAA Weather Radio and a portable radio should be part of your emergency storm kit. In the event of a power outage, your storm kit also should include:

  • A flashlight and extra batteries.
  • First-aid supplies with essential medicines.
  • Bottled water and nonperishable ready-to-eat food. Don’t forget a manual can opener.
  • Baby or pet items as appropriate.
  • Blankets and sleeping gear.
  • Bathroom items.
  • Work gloves, duct tape, and small tools.

“Make sure everyone in your family knows the location of the emergency storm kit,” adds Overland. “Grab your cell phone and a charger for when power is restored. Remember that cordless phones don’t work during power outages. And don’t forget shoes for you and your family. You’ll need them if a summer storm leaves behind sticks, broken glass, or other debris.”

Overland urges people never to approach a downed electrical line. “Stay away and call 911 or Otter Tail Power Company to report it immediately,” says Overland. “A downed line still may be energized, so stay at least a hundred feet away and keep others away as well. Wet soil conditions following a storm make it especially easy for electricity to travel through the ground.”

To report an electrical outage, call Otter Tail Power Company at 800-257-4044 or 218-739-8877.