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Storm Checklist

If a major storm is anticipated in your area, take these simple precautions to ensure your readiness. Use this page as a checklist.

Before a Storm

  • Install surge protectors to provide greater protection for your appliances and help prevent damage from lightning.
  • Pay attention to weather changes. Lightning often precedes rain, so don't wait for raindrops to fall before going indoors.
  • Have a lights-out kit that is well stocked and handy. The kit should have a battery-operated radio or TV, several flashlights, and a supply of fresh batteries. Local radio stations will report weather and utility service conditions.
  • Turn your refrigerator and freezer to their coldest settings.
  • If you have a well and a water pump, fill your bathtub and spare containers with water.
  • Fill your car's gas tank.

When a Storm is Approaching

  • Unplug your appliance power cords and cables from outlets.
  • Lightning can travel through wiring and water pipes, so unplug appliances.
  • Avoid using a corded telephone or any electrical appliances.
  • Avoid taking a bath or shower.
  • Turn off the air conditioner.
  • Draw blinds and shades over windows. If windows break due to the wind, the shades will prevent glass from shattering into your home.
  • If there is a tornado approaching - hurry in the nearest tornado shelter.

After the Storm

  • If you must go outside, stay away from downed and dangling lines. Treat all downed lines as if they are live and dangerous. Some energized wires spark and snap, others do not, but both are dangerous.
  • Check on friends or neighbors who are elderly, disabled, or who have special needs. Remember that elevators may not operate during an outage.
  • If you’re using dry ice, be careful. Handle it with gloves. For best results, place dry ice below the items you want to keep cool in an insulated container.
  • Turn off light switches and unplug appliances to prevent damage to the appliances when service is restored. Leave only a single lamp or radio turned on so you’ll know when power’s been restored. Then turn on lights and reconnect appliances one at a time.
  • Keep refrigerator and freezer doors closed as much as possible. Food will stay frozen for 24 to 48 hours with the doors closed.
  • Never use charcoal or gas grills indoors because they can cause a buildup of deadly carbon monoxide.
  • Use emergency generators safely. Portable generators designed to supply electricity to homes or businesses during a power outage can be extremely dangerous if not used properly. Contact us before connecting an emergency generator at 256-533-5555.

If you experience an electric service problem:

  • First, reset breakers or replace burned-out fuses. If breakers are on and fuses are OK, contact Huntsville Utilities to report the problem. If your neighbors or others are without power, contact Huntsville Utilities right away so they can send crews to fix the problem as quickly and safely as possible. When you contact us, either by phone or through the Web, have the following information handy:

- Your name, address, telephone number.
- If you have trouble reaching us, keep trying. Telephone wires may be damaged by a storm and, when large numbers of customers call to report power outages, telephone systems can become overloaded. After reporting the power problem to us, please allow reasonable time before contacting us again so our representatives will be available for other customers.

  • We need to know. Call 256-533-5555
  • Take steps to prevent food spoilage. Click here for tips on handling food and water.
  • If you use a portable generator, follow its important, life-saving instructions. Click here for more information on generators.
  • Listen to your battery-operated radio on for updates on our restoration progress and safety tips.
  • Use flashlights rather than candles or gas lanterns to minimize the risk of fire.

4811 Commercial Dr. Huntsville AL 35816 | Tel (256) 533-5555