Bonneville Power

What to do After a Storm

After a severe storm has passed, check the area for downed power lines. If you see one, notify your electric company immediately. 

Don't allow anyone to touch or drive over a power line - even an experienced electrician or electric company lineman can't tell if a line is energized just by looking at it.

Clearing broken tree branches also calls for extreme caution. Downed or damaged power lines can send electrical currents through tree branches and metal fences - even heavy mist or smoke, so survey the area carefully - especially if you'll be using a pruning pole, ax or chainsaw.

When the storm has passed and power has been restored, it's safe to plug in and turn on your appliances - but do them one-by-one, to avoid overloading a circuit.

Stay away from emergency crews
Utility crews, emergency medical personell and law enforcement officers need to get to trouble sites as quickly as possible.

Even though you think you are helping, you may be causing more work for emergency workers and may even make the situation worse. Curious bystanders and traffic "rubber-neckers" can negatively impact efforts to help victims.

In the event that anyone is injured, do not attempt to treat them yourself if they are near downed power lines or heavy equipment. Instead, call 911 immediately.

If you really want to help recovery and clean-up efforts, contact your local Red Cross to see where help is needed most.

Damage to your electrical system
Depending on the damage, you may need to contact a licensed electrician for additional repairs.

By law, your local power company can only repair the power line coming to your house and the meter itself. Appliances and electric systems on and within your house are the homeowners responsibility.

Repairs to weatherheads, meter boxes and other hazardous equipment should be done only by a licensed electrician.

Use a professional
Repairs the electrical service into your residence or building is not a "do it yourself" project. Leave any work like this to a trained, licensed electrician.

Trying to make repairs yourself is extremely dangerous, with the potential for fires, injury, or even electrocution. It could also cause expensive damage to equipment owned by your electric utility company, as well as your home’s electrical system and appliances.

Choosing an electrician
Be selective when choosing a contractor or electrician to repair storm damage.

Be wary of people contacting you with offers to repair damage to your home our business - a good rule of thumb is that most reputable contractors will not contact you to do the work.

  • Use your local telephone book or call your electric utility company to find a reputable contractor or electrician to repair damage.
  • Always make sure that the workers are fully insured and licensed by your community or state.
  • Be sure that anyone working on your house has applied for, and provided to you, the proper permits, if necessary, before giving them any money in advance of the work.
  • Never pay for the entire cost of the work before it is done.
  • Ask for local references and check the references before making any down payment.