Storm Preparedness Tips
While serious weather conditions cannot be prevented, preparation can go a long way toward keeping our employees, customers and communities safe. Chesapeake Utilities works year-round to be sure we’re ready for all types of severe weather. We’re committed to the safety of our utility assets, our people, and our communities and we urge you to be prepared and learn more about being safe in the event of a major storm.
Before a Storm
- Have a plan to move yourself and your family — especially those with special needs.
- Have a portable radio, TV or NOAA Weather Radio on hand to monitor important information.
- Homeowners who depend on well water should draw an emergency supply.
- Get cash or travelers checks in case banks or ATMs are not operational.
- Ensure all of your electronic/mobile devices are fully charged.
- Gather important documentation and place in waterproof containers.
- Plan for pets. Emergency shelters may not let you bring your animals with you.
- Find out where the nearest shelter is located and the routes to get there.
- Fill your automobile(s) with gas or ensure your electric vehicle is charged.
- If you have an emergency power source, learn how to use it properly. Review generator safety tips.
- Prepare an Emergency Kit with:
- Nonperishable food
- Prescription medicines
- Manual can opener
- Pet supplies
- Disposable plates, cups, and utensils
- Cell phone and chargers
- First-aid kit
- Non-electric clock
- Flashlights/lanterns with spare batteries
- Baby supplies
- Five gallons of water per person
- Rubber boots and sturdy shoes
During a Storm
- Disconnect or turn off any nonessential electrical equipment that may start automatically when power is restored to avoid overloading circuits.
- Even if you’re evacuating, there’s no need for you to turn off your natural gas service at the meter. Your service will likely operate uninterrupted throughout the storm.
- Do not open freezers or refrigerators more than necessary. Opening will allow food to thaw more quickly.
- Follow instructions and guidance of emergency management officials.
- In case of strong winds, stay away from windows and doors, even if they are covered. Seek shelter in a small interior room, closet or hallway on the lowest floor.
- Do not walk, swim or drive through flood waters. Just six inches of fast-moving water can knock you down, and one foot of moving water can sweep your vehicle away.
- If using a generator during an electrical outage, customers should refer to the manufacturer’s instruction manual for information on proper venting and operation.
After a Storm
- Stay away from downed power lines and areas that may be hiding lines, such as floodwater and debris.
- Look for damage that may prevent your power from being restored and have a licensed electrician make repairs if needed.
- Do not wire your generator directly to your breaker fuse box, as it could backfeed on power lines.
- Only operate a generator outside and connect appliances directly to it.
- Take photos or videotape your home for inventory and record losses.
- Watch out for debris-filled streets. Do not travel until it is safe.
- Don’t use grills or other outdoor equipment indoors for space heating or cooking. These devices can release poisonous carbon monoxide.
- Replenish your supplies in preparation for future storms.
- Disconnect/turn off any nonessential electrical equipment that may start automatically when power is restored to avoid overloading circuits.
- Keep all outside vents and gas meters clear of snow and debris. Vents need to be clear to ensure appliances can operate safely and efficiently. Meters are specialized apparatus and removing snow and ice from the area assists in protecting the equipment, allowing it to run more efficiently.
- Customers should not attempt to reignite a pilot light on appliances. Should a pilot light need attention, customers should call Chesapeake Utilities or a licensed plumber.
- Most importantly, please consider your safety and the safety of your family and neighbors when shoveling and working outside in extreme temperatures for an extended period of time.