Storm Safety Center

Be Prepared and Stay Safe

When bad weather approaches, we want you to be prepared.

Safety Tips During a Storm

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  • Stay at least 25 feet away from downed power lines and anything they are in contact with, including puddles of water and fences. Keep children and pets away too.
  • Be extremely cautious near metal fences, which conduct electricity, following a severe storm. Electric current will be the strongest where a downed power line is touching a metal fence. Even a connecting fence several backyards away can be energized and dangerous.
  • Never cross yellow barrier tape. It may be around downed power lines.
  • Never drive across downed power lines. If a power line falls on your vehicle, remain inside your car until emergency help arrives.
  • A live power line may spark and whip around as it looks for a ground. A ground is the earth or something touching the earth, like a fence or a tree. A live wire that has found its ground may lie silently, but it is still dangerous. Report a downed power line online, on the DTE Energy Mobile App or call us immediately at 800.477.4747.
  • Cable or telephone lines can be energized if they come in contact with electrical lines. Contact with any energized power line can be fatal.

Safety Tips After a Storm

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  • Stay out of flooded/damp basements or other areas if water is in contact with outlets, a furnace or any electrically-operated appliance. Most water or moisture conducts electricity. Contact may cause a serious or fatal injury.
  • Keep portable heaters or candles away from flammable materials. Properly vent portable or space heaters. Keep children and pets away.
  • Unplug all heat-producing appliances — stoves, clothes dryers, irons and curling irons — especially if you leave your home during the outage. This minimizes the danger of a fire if power is restored while you are away.
  • Know how to reset your circuit breaker. Turn off lamps and appliances in use when the power goes out. Make sure your hands are dry and stand on a dry surface. Find the breaker switch(es) pointed toward the “OFF” position. Turn the switch(es) all the way to “OFF” and then back to the “ON” position.
  • If fuses, instead of circuit breakers, protect your home wiring, you may want to call in an electrician for assistance. There are many variations in the types and designs of fuse boxes. For safety’s sake, make sure you have instructions for your specific type of fuse. Get extra, correct replacement fuses and store them near the fuse panel along with a flashlight.
  • Protect sensitive electronic equipment, such as computers, televisions and stereos, with surge suppressors. If you are home when a storm approaches, you may want to unplug sensitive electronic equipment.
  • Protect the food in your refrigerators or freezers by only opening the doors when absolutely necessary. A closed refrigerator will stay cold for 12 hours. Kept closed, a well-filled freezer will preserve food for two days. Fifteen to 20 pounds of dry ice can maintain refrigerator or freezer temperatures for at least 24 hours. Wear gloves when handling dry ice. Place dry ice, in its original wrapper, on a piece of cardboard on the upper refrigerator shelf (cold air sinks). Dry ice leaves a harmless, powdery residue as it evaporates.
  • Wait until power line repairs are complete before you begin storm cleanup in your yard. Energized power lines may be hidden in the brush
  • Use portable generators safely.

Portable Generator Safety

Provided it’s installed and operated properly, a portable generator can be a good, temporary power supply for lighting, vital medical equipment, refrigerators, sump pumps and essential appliances. When using a portable generator, it’s important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions to avoid injuring someone or damaging your generator or appliances. Learn more about selecting, installing and operating a portable generator.