It was never going to last, of course: the lengthy spell without a major hurricane in Florida. But with Irma poised to bring her wind power to the Sunshine State, know that #WeStandReady with the power of our commitment to the community (and extra help if needed) to restore your power. Most important of all, however, is safety for you and our crews alike. Here are some important things that you need to know as we prepare to work around the clock in service to you:
- Stay away from downed power lines and avoid floodwaters. Always assume that a downed power line is energized, and move away to safety. Floodwaters can hide energized power lines or other hazards, or put you at risk of drowning.
- Caution: Use portable generators safely. DO NOT connect your portable generator to your home’s circuits. Plug your appliances directly into the generator. Connecting your generator to your home’s circuits may cause power to flow to outside lines, posing life-threatening danger to power restoration crews. Also, DO NOT operate portable generators inside or near air conditioning ducts or in any enclosed space (including a closed garage) where deadly carbon monoxide gases could build up.
- Update your primary phone number at tampaelectric.com. Our automated power outage system, which you can access at 1-877-588-1010, identifies an outage at your residence or business by recognizing your phone number or Tampa Electric account number and matching it to the address we have on record for that number. Your primary number is the phone number most frequently associated with your home or business service address It must be updated with us for the system to benefit you.
- Help for special needs customers. Counties provide shelter programs for those requiring special medical care. Special needs shelters are available for people requiring more skilled medical care than is available in a public shelter but not requiring an acute care facility, such as a hospital. To register for this kind of shelter care, please call the special needs registry in your area. Hillsborough: 813-307-8063; Polk: 863-298-7027; Pasco: 727-847-8137; and Pinellas: 727-464-3800.
- Determine your flood zone. At hillsboroughcounty.org, check to see if you live in an area expected to experience heavy flooding in the event of severe weather.