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Weathering The Storm

Spring brings babes to barnyards and buds to tree branches. But it also can bring powerful storms causing widespread damage and even death. In the past five years, from 2018 through 2022, Indiana had 40 deaths, 38 injuries and almost $113 million in property and crop damage from weather events in Indiana alone, according to the National Weather Service.

Weather disasters can occur year-round, but most of Indiana's worst storms come in the spring.

Here are some tips for staying safe before and after a storm hits.

  • Keep your phone charged and consider getting an external battery so your phone can charge without electricity.

  • Have a battery-operated radio for weather updates.

  • Unplug appliances and other electrical items. Damage can occur from power surges as a result of nearby lightning strikes.

  • Prepare an emergency kit and create a family communication plan.

  • If someone in your home uses a life-sustaining medical device that requires electricity, alert your electric cooperative now. Plan to have a battery or emergency generation on hand before an outage occurs.


  • If you see fallen power lines while driving, turn around — never drive over them.

  • If a power line falls on your vehicle, stay inside, call 911, and exit only if your life is in immediate danger from a fire or other reason. Then, jump clear of your vehicle being certain to never touch the vehicle and the ground at the same time; then shuffle away keeping your feet together at all times.

  • While checking for damage outside your home, watch for hazards from exposed nails, broken glass, and broken tree branches dangling on other limbs.

  • Use flashlights, not candles, to inspect your home during a power outage to prevent fire risks.

  • Don't touch downed power lines or anything in contact with them. Call 911 to report them, as they could still be energized.


If spring comes in like a lion instead of a lamb, know how to keep yourself, your family and your property safe from harm during a severe storm.




  • Wear proper safety material: As you are cleaning up, make sure you are wearing proper protection to prevent injury. Work gloves, safety glasses, heavy-duty work shirt with long sleeves, work pants, and steel-toe work boots are a good idea if you are working on clearing large amounts of broken, splintered or sharp debris.

  • Stay away from power lines: Always assume a downed power line is live. Downed power lines pose a particularly dangerous threat in areas where there are lots of people trying to clear fallen trees and branches from roads and lawns. Let the professionals handle this job. If you see a downed power line that is sparking or on fire, call Orange County REMC immediately.

  • Stay away from damaged buildings or structures: If a building has been subjected to rushing flood waters or has been submerged under water, it may not be structurally safe. It's best to stay away from these types of structures until professionals can assess the extent of the damage.

  • Never operate gasoline-powered equipment indoors: Gas engines emit carbon monoxide — an odorless, colorless, and poisonous gas you should never breathe



Are you prepared when a storm hits? Here are some helpful tips to keep you, your loved ones and your property safe.

  • Prepare an emergency kit and create a family communication plan.

  • Program the number of your electric cooperative into your cell phone. This will make it easier to report a power outage.

  • Plumbing and bathroom fixtures can conduct electricity. Use with caution.

  • If you notice frayed wiring or sparks, or smell a burning odor, shut off the electrical system at the main circuit breaker immediately.

  • Know how to properly use portable generators if you lose power during the storm. 


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