Flooded basement? Watch for electricity

Take extra care if your home’s bottom floor or basement gets flooded.

 Don’t let a bad storm create a health or safety hazard in your home. Follow these tips:

  • Unplug all major electrical appliances as soon as the power goes out. This could  prevent an electrical surge from damaging the motors of those appliances when the power is restored.
  • Unplug basement appliances if you expect flooding.
  • If parts of the house are flooded, turn off electricity to those areas before going near. Stepping in water—even shallow water—that is touching plugged-in appliances can cause electrocution.
  • Have an electrician inspect flooded appliances before turning them back on.
  • Keep the refrigerator door closed during power outages. Food will stay good for four to six hours in an unopened refrigerator.
  • Keep a refrigerator thermometer on hand to check the temperature when power is restored. If food is below 40 degrees, it’s safe to eat. 
  • Know where you can get dry ice if the power is off for more than four hours. Keep ready-to-eat, non-perishable food on hand.
  • If someone in the house is on life-support or relies on any electric medical device, make a plan for where to take the person in case of a power outage. Your local hospital can help you with the plan.