Stay Safe from Storm Season Threats: Oncor gives safety tips for wherever the weather finds you

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Storms hit us with high winds and a little hail in February and they could be back for more, this time with lightning, rain and maybe some tornadoes. Traditionally, March and April produce the most violent weather in Texas.

    Oncor wants to make sure the public stays safe during these severe weather months and urges Texans to follow these Lifetime of Safety tips while at home or away:

When outside or away from home

-- Trees are a primary cause of power outages today. Often when trees are planted too close to power lines, high winds and lightning can knock tree limbs and sometimes even whole trees into the lines, making the lines fall. If you see a downed power line, leave the area and immediately call 9-1-1. Keep pets, children and others away from the area, too. Remember -- never touch a downed power line or any object touching a power line and never try to remove tree limbs from downed power lines.

-- If a power line falls across your vehicle, call 9-1-1 and stay put until help arrives. Your tires provide important insulation from electric current. Stepping from your car could make you part of a complete electric circuit, resulting in electric shock or even death.

-- If caught outside when a storm hits, seek shelter immediately in a building or car. If this isn't an option, go to a low-lying, open space away from trees, poles or metal objects. If you're caught in the woods, take shelter under shorter trees. Lightning will strike the tallest object around.

When at home

-- Protect electronic equipment and appliances by installing surge protectors or by unplugging valuable electronics.

-- Keep an emergency kit handy with a flashlight, battery-powered or crank radio, bottled water and extra batteries if needed. Make sure to have the phone number for your retail electric provider handy in case you need to report a power outage.

-- Exercise extreme caution if using candles during a power outage. Always keep candles away from flammable objects and never leave them burning unattended.

-- If you choose to use a portable generator during a power outage, make sure the main circuit breaker in the electric service panel box is in the OFF position or, in older electric service panel boxes, that the main fuse block is removed. This is necessary to prevent your generator's electricity from going back into the power lines in the street and potentially endangering the lives of line crews and other emergency workers.

Remember -- if you need immediate help, no matter when or where, call 9-1-1.

For more electric safety tips from Oncor's year-round safety campaign, Lifetime of Safety, visit http://www.oncor.com/safety.

Oncor is a regulated electric distribution and transmission business that uses superior asset management skills to provide reliable electricity delivery to consumers. Oncor operates the largest distribution and transmission system in Texas, providing power to 3 million electric delivery points over more than 101,000 miles of distribution and 14,000 miles of transmission lines. While Oncor is a subsidiary of EFH, Oncor reports to a separate and independent board.

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Megan Wright
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