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Emergency electrical safety tips from the Hawaiian Electric Companies

With the approach of Tropical Storm Ana to Hawai‘i, the Hawaiian Electric Companies want to remind customers that electricity can be dangerous and electrical safety should never be taken for granted, especially during an emergency situation.

Hawaiian Electric, Maui Electric, and Hawai‘i Electric Light urge customers to consider the following safety measures before, during and after a disaster or power outage:

  • Before a storm hits or if there is a power outage, unplug all unnecessary electric equipment and appliances until the storm has passed or until power is restored.
  • Stay away from downed power lines. Assume they are energized and dangerous. If you see someone injured after touching a downed power line, call 9-1-1 for help.
  • Should you need to evacuate, take emergency supplies and remember to shut off electricity at the main breaker or switch.
  • Make plans in advance to go to a safe location where electricity will be available if someone in your home depends on an electrically powered life support system and you don't have a backup generator. Some shelters are designed for people with health needs--just remember to take your own medical equipment and medications.
  • When using a portable generator, carefully read and follow instructions in the manufacturer's manual. Do not plug the generator into your household electrical outlets.
  • If you have a rooftop photovoltaic system, consult with your licensed solar contractor regarding normal and emergency operation procedures for your solar system. As a safety precaution, most photovoltaic systems are designed to safely shut down during outages. PV systems typically have monitoring systems which allow owners to check on the status of their system.
  • If you become trapped in an elevator during a power outage, relax and stay calm until help arrives. Use elevator emergency communication systems to report where you are and who is with you. Do not try to force open elevator doors. Never try to exit a stalled elevator car. Always wait for trained and qualified emergency personnel.

The Hawaiian Electric Companies' free "Information Handbook for Emergency Preparedness" includes these tips and more. It can be downloaded at http://hawaiianelectric.com/prepare.

The handbook includes key numbers to have on hand, checklists for emergency supplies (such as a home survival kit and first aid kit), electrical safety information, power outage preparedness and recovery information, and household and food safety tips. It also provides references and links to related resources, such as the American Red Cross, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and civil defense agencies.

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About Hawaiian Electric Company (HECO)
For more than 100 years, Hawaiian Electric Company has provided the energy that has fueled the islands' development from a Hawaiian kingdom to a modern state. Hawaiian Electric Company, Inc. (HECO), and its subsidiaries, Maui Electric Company, Ltd. (MECO), and Hawaii Electric Light Company, Inc. (HELCO), serves 95% of the state's 1.2 million residents on the islands of O`ahu, Maui, Hawai`i Island, Lana`i and Moloka`i.

The energy we use is an essential but limited resource necessary to maintaining our quality of life. In a changing world, Hawaiian Electric has evolved to offer more than electricity.

Today, the company also provides energy solutions to help customers save money and use energy more efficiently. Hawaiian Electric also continues to pursue the use of more clean, renewable energy alternatives to help ensure a sustainable future for our islands.

COMMUNITY COMMITMENT

Hawaiian Electric Company is dedicated to our community in which we live, work and serve. Rooted in Hawaii and one of the largest companies in the State, Hawaiian Electric takes the concept of malama pono -- to care for and serve -- to heart. The company and our employees have a long tradition of contributing with dollars, time and talent. Corporate citizenship is crucial to Hawaiian Electric's overall business plan because strong communities are essential to the success of the company, our employees and our customers.

Company and employee volunteerism is encouraged and every month, employees walk, run or provide manpower to dozens of non-profits throughout the State. Hawaiian Electric's corporate giving philosophy gives priority to projects that help families, promote education and protect the environment.

The company also sponsors robotics programs and events that promote STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics) education, as well as the SunPower for Schools program bringing solar electric power to select schools, the Solar Sprint event where students design, build and race cars using solar power, and the Home Energy Challenge, a school-based competition encouraging elementary school students and their families to reduce energy use at home, among other programs.

For nearly a decade, Hawaiian Electric volunteers have provided manpower, bucket trucks and ladders to install Christmas lights at the Kaimuki Community Park and playground before the annual Kaimuki Christmas Parade in December.

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WATCH VIDEO - Click here to view video on Hawaiian Electric Company in action restoring power to all our customers on Hawaii Island during the aftermath of Iselle.
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