Thursday, July 3, 2014

Hurricane Arthur's Here To Remind Us To Be Prepared And Safe

It's Thursday July 3, 2014 and instead of getting ready for an Independence Day celebration, we're preparing for the arrival of Hurricane Arthur, the first of the season. I'm writing today from the North Carolina coast where we are expecting to receive the brunt of Arthur's winds and rain. Unlike most of the country, the east coast is no stranger to the tropical cyclones we often endure.
There is a lot of information available about hurricane preparedness at websites like The advancements in weather forecasting have given us the chance to make informed decisions about the preparations needed.

The list of items needed to endure the wind, rain, possible power outages, and flooding, include food, water, flashlights, raingear, and battery-powered communications.

As the tourist continue to swarm the beach and pools, the locals are preparing for a stormy night. Hopefully Arthur turns east and Friday's cleanup will go quickly with minimal damage.

We're looking forward to the 4th's fireworks; the store-bought kind.

Updated: Friday July 4, 2014. After a night of strong, howling category 2 (100 mph) winds, and sideways rain, we seem to have fared well. Damage is minimal. There is a strong breeze this morning and a bright sun to go along with our sigh of relief. The power was off for about 7 hours. The utility workers are great at getting the power restored quickly so we can get back to "normal". Now there's time to cool the drinks, lite the grill, and enjoy the 4th. It's going to be a good day.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

"That's Hot!".......But Not In A Good Way

Heat stress, and the most serious of all, heat stroke, are real concerns for utility line workers. Hot weather causes more fatalities than any other weather related source.

Utility linemen are generally required to wear flame resistant, long sleeve clothing, even during the hottest weather. Heat combined with bright sunlight and high humidity can quickly bring on serious heat related complications.
Here is what the CDC has to say about heat stroke:
Heat stroke is the most serious heat-related disorder. It occurs when the body becomes unable to control its temperature: the body's temperature rises rapidly, the sweating mechanism fails, and the body is unable to cool down. When heat stroke occurs, the body temperature can rise to 106 degrees Fahrenheit or higher within 10 to 15 minutes. Heat stroke can cause death or permanent disability if emergency treatment is not given.
Symptoms of heat stroke include:
  • Hot, dry skin or profuse sweating
  • Hallucinations
  • Chills
  • Throbbing headache
  • High body temperature
  • Confusion/dizziness
  • Slurred speech

First Aid

Take the following steps to treat a worker with heat stroke:
  • Call 911 and notify their supervisor.
  • Move the sick worker to a cool shaded area.
  • Cool the worker using methods such as:
    • Soaking their clothes with water.
    • Spraying, sponging, or showering them with water.
    • Fanning their body.

There is more information on the CDC web site here.

There are many products available to help workers stay safe and comfortable in hot weather. Some, like hard hat shields, and neck shades, help to block the sun’s rays. Other products can be soaked with water to provide evaporative cooling.

Drink plenty of liquids and take frequent breaks to help prevent overheating.

Ok people……COOL IT!



Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Storms Down Power Lines - Stay Away!

Springtime can produce strong storms that cause damage from high winds, lightning, and tornados. Much of the time these storms cause power outages and downed powerlines that pose an electrocution hazard to people and animals.
Here are some safety tips from electric utilities about downed powerlines.

  • Never approach any type of wire or cable that is on the ground, dangling, or hanging low.

  • Treat every line as if it is live. An entergized line may look dead but can be deadly.

  • Call your local utility and/or 911 with information about the location of the downed line.

  • Keep all persons, children, pets, and livestock away from the area until the hazard is cleared.

  • Never drive over downed lines. While the rubber tires may provide some insulation, the tires can become tangled in the wires or cables and cause contact with other areas of the car.

  • If a line falls across your car, stay in the car. You will be safe in the car. Do not let anyone attemp to help you out. Call 911 and wait for the proper emergency help.

  • If the vehicle is on fire and it is necessary to leave it, keeping both feet together, jump clear of the car, avoiding any wires that might be on the ground. Stay calm and jump carefully so that you don’t fall back against the car or touch the ground and the vehicle at the same time. Then shuffle with both feet together clear of the area, keeping both feet on the ground and touching at all times. Continue shuffling for at least 30 feet from the accident site.

  • Be aware of powerline that may be in contact with trees and/or fences and stay far back from these electricution hazards.

  • Don't touch anyone that is in contact with a live powerline. Wait for trained emergency help.

  • Be aware of the posibility of downed powerlines at the scene of an automobile accident that may have impacted a utility pole.

Electricity KILLS! Stay AWARE!

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

How Do You Have A Rodeo Without Bulls Or Horses?

How can you have a rodeo where hard hats replace cowboy hats? Easy, you have a "Lineman's Rodeo". At events all across the nation you'll find electric utility lineman practicing their safety and work practices with a friendly competition; that's the Lineman's Rodeo.

The same professional lineworkers that keep the electricity flowing to our homes and jobs like to hone and showoff their skills at these family friendly events. Your local power utility company support these rodeos to help linemen polish their climbing abilities within a safe training enviroment.

These rodeos are a great opportunity for the public to see lineman performing difficult construction task while easily climbing towering wood poles. The lineman's specialized equipment is designed for safety, and allows access to servicing overhead powerlines.

Contact your local power utiltiy for information on a Lineman's Rodeo in your area. Take the family for a days outing that you are sure to enjoy. And unlike some "rodeos" you don't have to watch where you step.