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Storm Preparation Tips


Cleco's Severe Weather Survival Guide can help you prepare for weather emergencies. You must have Adobe Acrobat Reader® on your computer to view PDFs. You can download it free from Adobe

If severe weather is heading your way, consider the following:

  • If you need to evacuate, do so as early as possible (24 to 36 hours before landfall).
  • Consider locations other than public shelters since they are typically crowded.
  • Make sure all family members know the evacuation route.
  • Have flashlights, a battery-powered radio and extra batteries. Power and restoration updates are broadcast by media.
  • Plan ahead for medical or special needs.
  • Make provisions for a generator and fuel, if needed.
  • Have first aid supplies and necessary baby or pet items.
  • Prepare at least a three-day supply of water. You can fill plastic jugs for drinking and cooking and fill bathtubs for toilet flushing.
  • Fill plastic jugs or milk cartons 2/3 full with water and place in freezer. Combination refrigerator/freezers defrost rapidly (keeping time is 12-24 hours). Move frozen foods to another freezer if possible. Cover freezers with blankets or quilts to add insulation. Foods should stay frozen for several days if the freezer doors are kept closed.
  • Buy foods that do not require refrigeration and can be eaten without heating.
  • Have charcoal and lighter fluid on hand for grilling, and ensure all propane tanks are filled for gas grills.
  • Clear patio furniture and other objects that could move in high winds and cause damage or injury.

During and After a Storm

  • Listen to local radio stations for power outage and restoration status reports.
  • Turn off heating and air conditioning units and unplug sensitive electronic appliances to protect them from unpreventable voltage fluctuations that may occur as power is restored.
  • Generators should be operated outdoors only and in well-ventilated areas, away from combustible material and kept free of oil, mud and other foreign matter. Plug appliances directly into portable generators with grounded extension cords that can handle the load. Never plug a generator into a wall outlet. It could back feed electricity through your home's wiring to the entire Cleco circuit and cause injury or death to a worker attempting to repair that circuit. Don't exceed the rated capacity of the generator and only refuel when the engine is off and cool.
  • Assume all downed lines are live and stay away. Report downed Cleco lines immediately by calling 1-800-622-6537 or 911. Don't step in nearby puddles or attempt to move any object that comes in contact with a downed line.
  • If water is rising, turn off electricity at the main breaker, evacuate and stay away until waters have completely receded. Have an electrician check the building's wiring before using electricity.
  • If your power will be out longer than your freezer will maintain cold, you can put dry ice in the freezer. Don't touch it or breathe the fumes. Put heavy cardboard directly on the packages of frozen food and then put the dry ice on top of the cardboard. Twenty-five pounds should hold the temperature of a half-full 10 cubic foot freezer below freezing for two to three days. Food in a fully loaded freezer will stay frozen for three to four days if the dry ice is put in soon after the power goes off.