With Severe Weather Awareness Week kicking off, there are several things you should remember in the wake of a storm. MidAmerican Energy spokesperson, Tina Pothoff, says you should never try to handle a downed power line. She says if you see a downed line, assume that it is energized and don’t try to move it.

Pothoff says you should report it if your power goes out so the company can respond. Trees and branches can fall in a storm and pose some problems for cleaning up your yard. Pothoff says don’t assume that everything is safe and especially when picking up metal debris like awnings, be sure they are not touching a downed power line.

If you’re in your vehicle in a storm, and get caught under a power line, use caution. Pothoff says if the line comes down on your vehicle, stay inside until an electrical crew can get there and make sure it is safe.

Other tips include: keep fresh batteries in flashlights and lanterns and always have extra batteries on hand just in case. Use common sense in the placement of candles during power outages. Keep them away from drapes and other materials that could catch fire, and avoid placing candles on low tables where pets and children could knock them off.

By Chris Berg, KCHA, Charles City