GAHANNA — Ohio Severe Weather Awareness Week, which begins March 20, is a time for all Ohioans to look ahead, improve awareness of the different types of severe weather, and act on the importance of emergency and disaster preparedness.
As spring storm season approaches — which can often bring thunder and lightning, high winds and flash floods — AEP Ohio, an American Electric Power (Nasdaq: AEP) company, is encouraging customers to be proactive and follow these simple steps to plan for the unexpected and keep safe:
• Plan Ahead – Develop a strategy to use in the event of an emergency. Identify a safe area, such as a basement or storm shelter. Also, decide now what your options are if there’s an extended power outage. Be sure to check in with the elderly and those who have young children or have medical conditions to ensure they are safe.
• Make an Emergency Kit – Put together an emergency preparedness kit that includes (at minimum) non-perishable food, water, a flashlight, fresh batteries, a battery-powered radio or television, a portable cell phone charging bank, a blanket or sleeping bag, a first aid kit and any necessary medications.
• Prepare Your Property – Before severe weather strikes, secure any items that could be swept away by winds. And if the lights go out, remember to unplug electronics and appliances to protect them when the power is restored.
• Stay Away, Stay Alive – Remember, all downed lines are dangerous. The lines, and anything they may be touching, can carry electric current that can cause serious or even fatal injuries. If you encounter a fallen wire, keep yourself and others far away, and call 911 and AEP Ohio immediately.
• Remember, Safety First – Never operate lanterns, heaters, fuel-fired stoves or burn charcoal without proper ventilation to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning and fire. Also, if you’re using a generator, make sure you know how to properly use it. This protects you and AEP’s line workers as they work to restore power.
• Stay Connected – If inclement weather causes power outages, it’s easy to stay connected with AEP Ohio to report an outage and check restoration:
• Sign up for text alerts
• Download the AEP Ohio mobile app
• Visit the Outage Map
• Follow AEP on Facebook and Twitter for updates
Visit AEPOhio.com/Safety and Ready.gov for more information.