Hurricane Preparation Tips
WAPA URGES CUSTOMERS TO BE PREPARED
Taking preventative measures before a hurricane strikes may later save you lots of money and frustration caused by a lack of preparation.
Before The Storm
- Listen carefully to weather broadcasts to determine how close the storm is to the Virgin Islands.
- Post WAPA’s Emergency Call Center numbers (St. Thomas-St. John-Water Island 777-WAPA, St. Croix 713-WAPA) and other emergency numbers in a conspicuous and easily accessible location. You may need to refer to them quickly.
- Assemble an emergency kit that contains items such as flashlights, batteries, candles, matches, battery operated radio, first aid kit and a telephone that does not depend on electricity to operate. Remember to include other items such as prescription medication, canned food and a can opener.
- Service electric generators and have extra fuel handy. Store fuel in plastic containers only.
- Do not let overgrown tree branches and vines obstruct aerial lines. Call WAPA’s line departments on ST Croix — 773-0150 and St. Thomas/ St. John /Water. Island — 774-1424 to report foliage that needs trimming. For water concerns call STX — 773-3775 and STT/STJ/WI — 775-5873.
- Clear your yard of debris and other materials that may become airborne during a storm and potentially damage lines and other electric equipment.
- Store extra gallons of drinkable water (one gallon per person per day) in thoroughly cleaned, dated and sealed containers. Water that is properly contained and stored in a cool dark place should last for up to six months.
- Have additional water available for food preparation and bathing. Locate and mark the potable water safety valve. If the pipe breaks it may become necessary to shut it off.
After The Storm
In case of a hurricane or tropical storm, the Virgin Islands Water and Power Authority (WAPA) offers the following safety tips for during the restoration period:
Report broken utility lines that are on the ground to WAPA (St. Thomas-St. John-Water Island 777-WAPA/ St. Croix 713-WAPA) or to the Virgin Islands Territorial Emergency Agency (VITEMA), or other emergency response agencies
- Do not touch any broken of loose utility lines that are on the ground. Assume that all "downed" utility lines are energized and deadly
- Do not drive your vehicle over utility lines that are on the ground
- If your electrical service is off, turn off and unplug appliances to reduce electrical surges and prevent damage to property and equipment when the electricity is restored
- Be cautious and observant while clearing bushes, trees and debris after storm; heavy equipment can damage potable water lines during the clearing process
- If you discover a water leak between the meter and your residence, close the customer valve located outside the meter box and then report the damage to WAPA.
Portable Generator Safety Tips
- The goal of the Virgin Islands Water and Power Authority is to provide low-cost, safe and reliable electricity at all times. However, sometimes hurricanes or other circumstances can create power outages. At these times some customers want to have their own portable backup generators available to supply power to operate certain appliances.
- If you have purchased a portable generator, or are thinking about buying one, please follow these safety rules in addition to those provided by the manufacturer.
Improperly installed or operated potable generators can cause severe injury or possibly result in death.
- If you connect your appliances to the potable generator, use an appropriately sized electrical extension cord.
- If you want to connect the generator to your home electrical system, do not do it yourself – this is a job requiring a certified electrician.
- Ensure that proper "disconnect" switches are installed on your home electrical system that is connected to a generator, and that you use them to isolate your home from WAPA’s power grid when you want to operate your generator.
- Connecting a generator improperly to your home electric system can "back feed" electricity into WAPA distribution lines and possibly injure one of our linemen or other field personnel.
- Keep the portable generator outside or in a well-ventilated garage.
- Keep generator fuels stored safely and away from children.
WAPA… Providing Emergency Services… When and Wherever Needed!!