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EDEN's Ready Tips > Posts > Trees and Power Lines After the Storm

​The most common reason for storm power outages is tree failure onto power and communications lines. The utilities do their best to clear the lines of branches to prevent this, but this is not always enough.

When a storm passes and we first go outside, it’s important to be aware of trees in contact with power lines. Consider the following safety protocols when approaching storm-damaged trees that may be in contact with power lines or power lines that have fallen due to tree failure.

  • Treat all fallen power lines as live. Just because your power is out, doesn’t mean the line isn’t energized.
  • Never attempt to remove branches or trees from utility lines.
  • The higher on the pole the line is, the more powerful that line is. You can also look at the ceramic insulating discs. The utilities use the bowl-shaped ceramic discs as insulators between the lines and the poles. More discs equals more power.
  • Even television cable and telephone lines are capable of hurting you. 
  • Before approaching a tree that might be in direct contact with utility wires, examine it from more than one direction. Do not approach or touch the tree if you see contact with lines.

snow trees road.jpg

The more powerful the lines the tree is in contact with, the more likely that not just the tree, but the ground around it is energized. Avoid trees in contact with any wires.

This is important. If someone has been injured or rendered unconscious by contact with a utility line or a tree in contact with a utility line, do not approach or touch them. If the person is energized, you will also be shocked and become a second victim. Always call emergency authorities to approach someone harmed by electrical lines. In the case of electrical danger, you are more likely to be harmed yourself in the attempt to rescue the fallen person.

The key objective is avoid the electricity, call the utility company if you see a tree in contact with wires, especially if lines have fallen or been torn off the poles. Treat every wire as live even if the power is out. Don’t come in contact with the line or anything touching the line.


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