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Phone: 605.225.0310 800.529.0310

Safety

Northern Electric Line Crew

As your Touchstone Energy Cooperative, member safety is important to us. Below are some links to important safety information to help keep you and your family safe

 


Be Prepared for Storms!

Storm Checklist

To report an outage, call Northern Electric Cooperative at 1-800-529-0310 or submit an outage report.

Have Plenty of Food

  • Keep a 3 to 5 day supply of drinking water in plastic bottles. Plan on at least one gallon of water per person, per day.
  • Store a manual can opener with enough nonperishable foods for 3 to 5 days. Canned meats, tuna fish, and peanut butter are good foods to store. Don’t forget pet foods!
  • Conserve water by using paper plates and plastic utensils.
  • Have a camp stove or grill for outdoor cooking.

Stay In Touch

  • Have a portable, battery-powered radio and alarm clock.
  • Make sure all cell phones, smartphones, and tablets are fully charged and working. 
  • Have one non-portable phone that will work even if power is interrupted.
  • Plan where to meet and how to communicate with family members if separated.

Keep Things Going

  • Keep plenty of gas in your car.
  • Keep extra batteries, matches, propane, charcoal and firewood.

Stay Happy, Healthy and Warm

  • Coordinate with neighbors to care for the elderly and disabled living alone.
  • Maintain a supply of prescriptions, nonprescription drugs, vitamins and special dietary foods.
  • Keep sanitary and personal hygiene supplies replenished. Premoistened cleansing towelettes are useful and help conserve water.
  • Use plastic trash bags and ties for garbage.
  • Put first-aid kits in your home and car.
  • Make sure you have cold-weather clothing, blankets, and sleeping bags.
  • Use flashlights or other battery-operated lighting instead of candles.
  • Keep fire extinguishers fully charged.
  • Fill your bathtub with water for bathroom use before the storm (if you have a well).

Check to see current weather conditions.


Power Line Safety

Accidentally contacting a power line can be dangerous and in some cases, even deadly. Your Touchstone Energy Cooperative wants to help our members stay safe around power lines.

Keep a safe distance

Whether you are playing outdoors with your children or working on landscaping projects, keep a safe distance from power lines and other equipment your co-op uses to get electricity to your home.

Always remember to:

  • Stay away from power lines, meters, transformers and electrical boxes.
  • Don’t climb trees near power lines.
  • Never fly kites, remote control airplanes, or balloons near power lines.
  • If you get something stuck in a power line, call a Northern Electric Cooperative crew to get it.
  • Keep a safe distance from overhead power lines when working with ladders or installing objects such as antennas.
  • Never touch or go near a downed power line.
  • Don’t touch anything that may be touching a downed wire, such as a car.
  • Keep children and pets away.

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Power Line Hazards and Cars

If a power line falls on a car, you should stay inside the vehicle. This is the safest place to stay. Warn people not to touch the car or the line. Call or ask someone to call the local cooperative and emergency services.

The only circumstance in which you should consider leaving a car that is in contact with a downed power line is if the vehicle catches on fire. Open the door. Do not step out of the car. You may receive a shock. Instead, jump free of the car so that your body clears the vehicle before touching the ground. Once you clear the car, shuffle at least 50 feet away, with both feet on the ground.

As in all power line related emergencies, call for help immediately by dialing 911 and call your electric utility company's Service Center/Dispatch Office.

Do not try to help someone else from the car while you are standing on the ground.

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Electrical Safety and Generators

Preventing Electrocutions Associated with Portable Generators Plugged Into Household Circuits

When power lines are down, residents can restore energy to their homes or other structures by using another power source such as a portable generator. If water has been present anywhere near electrical circuits and electrical equipment, turn off the power at the main breaker or fuse on the service panel. Do not turn the power back on until electrical equipment has been inspected by a qualified electrician.

If it is necessary to use a portable generator, manufacturer recommendations and specifications must be strictly followed. If there are any questions regarding the operation or installation of the portable generator, a qualified electrician should be immediately contacted to assist in installation and start-up activities. The generator should always be positioned outside the structure.

When using gasoline, and diesel-powered, portable generators to supply power to a building, switch the main breaker or fuse on the service panel to the "off" position prior to starting the generator. This will prevent power lines from being inadvertently energized by backfeed electrical energy from the generators, and help protect utility line workers or other repair workers or people in neighboring buildings from possible electrocution. If the generator is plugged into a household circuit without turning the main breaker to the “off” position or removing the main fuse, the electrical current could reverse, go back through the circuit to the outside power grid, and energize power lines or electrical systems in other buildings to at or near their original voltage without the knowledge of utility or other workers.

Effects of Backfeed

The problem of backfeed in electrical energy is a potential risk for electrical energy workers. Electrocutions are the fifth leading cause of all reported occupational deaths. Following the safety guidelines below can reduce this risk.

Other Generator Hazards

Generator use is also a major cause of carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning. Generators should only be used outside or in well ventilated areas.

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