There are electrical hazards after a disaster.
Volusia County Emergency Managment
After a hurricane, flood or other natural disaster, avoid electrical
hazards in your home and elsewhere.
· Never touch a fallen power line. Call the power company to report
fallen power lines.
· Do not drive through standing water if downed power lines are in the
· If you believe someone has been electrocuted, call or have someone
else call 911.
· Avoid contact with overhead power lines during cleanup and other
· If a power line falls across your car while you are driving, stay
inside the vehicle and continue to drive away from the line. If the
engine stalls, do not turn off the ignition. Warn people not to touch
the car or the line. Call 911. Do not allow anyone other than emergency
personnel to approach your vehicle.
· If electrical circuits and electrical equipment have gotten wet or
are in or near water, turn off the power at the main breaker or fuse on
the service panel. Do not enter standing water to access the main power
switch. Call an electrician to turn it off.
· Never turn power on or off yourself or use an electric tool or
appliance while standing in water. Do not turn the power back on until
electrical equipment has been inspected by a qualified electrician. All
electrical equipment and appliances must be completely dry before
returning them to service. Have a certified electrician check these
items if there is any question.
· If you see frayed wiring or sparks when you restore power, or if
there is an odor of something burning but no visible fire, you should
immediately shut off the electrical system at the main circuit breaker.
· Consult your utility company about using electrical equipment,
including power generators. Do not connect generators to your home's
electrical circuits without the approved, automatic-interrupt devices.
If a generator is online when electrical service is restored, it can
become a major fire hazard and it may endanger line workers helping to
restore power in your area.
If you believe someone has been electrocuted take the following steps:
1. Look first. Don't touch. The person may still be in contact with
the electrical source. Touching the person may pass the current through
2. Call 911 for emergency medical help.
3. Turn off the source of electricity if possible. If not, move the
source away from you and the affected person using a non-conducting
object made of cardboard, plastic or wood.
4. Once the person is free of the source of electricity, check the
person's breathing and pulse. If either has stopped or seems dangerously
slow or shallow, begin cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) immediately.
5. If the person is faint or pale or shows other signs of shock,
lay him or her down with the head slightly lower than the trunk of the
body and the legs elevated.
6. Don't touch burns, break blisters, or remove burned clothing.
Electrical shock may cause burns inside the body, so be sure the person
is taken to a doctor.