Hurricane Matthew is packing quite a punch, so it’s likely that there will be downed power lines and electrical wires once the storm has passed through Florida. Hopefully, you unplugged the electrical equipment and shut off the power to your barn(s) at the switch before the storm hit. However, downed power lines and low power lines can still be a hazard for you, your family, your neighbors and your livestock. Follow these tips from OSHA below to stay safe after the storm.

Rules for Downed Power Lines

Essentially, treat all lines, conductors and equipment as if they were energized, even if there are no sparks or the “hum” of electricity. Report all damage and/or downed or low power lines to your utility providers. Follow these tips:

  • Do not assume that any downed or low wires are simply cable, telephone or fiber-optic cable. Do not touch or go near downed or low wires.
  • Stay far away from downed power lines and conductors, and keep your livestock away too; at least 25 feet. Electricity can spread outward through the ground all around the wire. You can be electrocuted without even touching downed wires or conductors themselves.
  • Electricity can energize other objects, especially metal objects. This includes fencing, water pipes, buildings, other wires and cables, buildings, bushes and trees, etc. Wind-blown objects can also be energized by low or downed power lines.
  • Do not drive over downed power lines.
  • Report all low or downed power lines to your utility company.
  • Leave repairs to utility employees.

Griffin Fertilizer is committed to helping both growers and ranchers make sound agronomic and economic decisions in order to maximize the health of their grove and pasture. As a full-service custom dry & liquid fertilizer blender and crop protection product distributor, we will continue our mission to further advance Florida agriculture. For questions or concerns about your farm or pasture, contact us and one of our team will be in touch.

Image courtesy of Rob and Stephanie Levy.