With Hurricane Iselle on track to hit the Hawaiian Islands later this week and another tropical storm on its way, Hawaiian Electric Co. has issued safety tips to help residents avoid fires, electrocution and other electrical hazards.

Hurricane Iselle is expected to weaken into a tropical storm before reaching the Big Island on Thursday and then traveling on to the other islands.

HECO’s safety tips:

  • Before a storm hits or if there is a power outage, unplug all unnecessary electric equipment and appliances until the storm has passed or until power is restored.
  • Stay away from downed power lines. Assume they are energized and dangerous. If you see someone injured after touching a downed power line, call 9-1-1 for help.
  • Should you need to evacuate, take emergency supplies and remember to shut off electricity at the main breaker or switch.
  • Make plans in advance to go to a safe location where electricity will be available if someone in your home depends on an electrically powered life support system and you don’t have a backup generator. Some shelters are designed for people with health needs—just remember to take your own medical equipment and medications.
  • When using a portable generator, carefully read and follow instructions in the manufacturer’s manual. Do not plug the generator into your household electrical outlets.
  • If you have a rooftop photovoltaic system, consult with your licensed solar contractor regarding normal and emergency operation procedures for your solar system. As a safety precaution, most photovoltaic systems are designed to safely shut down during outages. PV systems typically have monitoring systems which allow owners to check on the status of their system.
  • If you become trapped in an elevator during a power outage, relax and stay calm until help arrives. Use elevator emergency communication systems to report where you are and who is with you. Do not try to force open elevator doors. Never try to exit a stalled elevator car. Always wait for trained and qualified emergency personnel.

 

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