Gulf Power is making preparations as Tropical Storm Isaac is forecasted to hit Mobile as a Category 2 storm.
In a press release, Gulf Power spokesperson Natalie Smith said that “Our crews have extensive experience in hurricane restoration and we will work as fast and as safely as possible. We will also be in touch with neighboring utilities to make sure we can call in extra workers if necessary.”
Smith included safety tips for power lines and generators.
All downed power lines should be treated as live.
“You can’t tell by looking if a downed wire is live or not,” Smith wrote in the release. “Telephone and cable television wires that are touching a power line could be energized and should also be avoided.”
Additionally, do not attempt to repair any electrical system or remove tree limbs off lines; trained work crews will perform this work.
Chain link fences should be avoided because if a line is down and is touching the fence, it could be energized and cause harm.
If a generator is being used, it is imperative that the home it is being used in is isolated from neighboring homes. This can be done by opening the main breakers or other devices; do not connect portable generators to the household electrical wiring because this can cause serious injury to Gulf Power linemen working on the power lines.
Gulf Power recommends connecting only essential appliances such as freezers and refrigerators directly to the generator.
Other recommendations are to cool the house down before the storm because the house should stay relatively cool for about 48 hours after the storm.
Charge all cell phones, computers, portable media players or any other electronic devise before the storm.
Only open the refrigerator/freezer as needed.
Gulf Power requests that residents leave a porch light on so that utility crews can quickly identify the success of repairs.
More safety tips and information about storm preparations can be found at www.gulfpower.com