Winter months have arrived and so has storm season. Does your class know how to prepare for a power outage? Do they know how to stay safe around a downed power line? We want to help you and your class get prepared.
Here in B.C., we use power lines to deliver electricity to homes, schools and businesses. This type of infrastructure can be vulnerable to high speed winds and fallen trees, especially during storm season. With winter weather comes snow, and heavy snowfalls and cold temperatures can make roads icy and cause motor vehicle accidents around power lines.
We want to make sure you and your students know how to navigate storm season, which typically begins during the late fall months and extends into February. We have several curriculum-based activities that teach students how to get prepared for and stay safe during emergency events involving power outages and downed power lines. These lessons allow students to think critically about emergency situations and how these unexpected events can impact their daily life. Students can take the information they’ve learned and share tips with their families at home.
Power outages are often unexpected and can last a few hours to a few days, so it’s important you and your students know how to get prepared. One of the best things to have on hand during an outage is an emergency kit. Think about things you might need if your home or school suddenly had no electricity. We suggest putting together an emergency kit that includes a flashlight, extra batteries, a first aid kit, water and food.
For activities to help educate students about safety & preparedness, check out:
Last year, BC Hydro received over 1,700 phone calls from British Columbians about downed power lines, so it’s important to know how to stay safe around them. You can’t always tell if a downed power line is live, so let your students know what to do in the event of one:
Be aware of your surroundings and how stormy or snowy weather can cause downed power lines
Recognize that downed power lines can be dangerous and stay back 10 metres if you see one – about the length of a yellow school bus
Dial 911, a downed power line is an emergency
A simple way for your class to remember these steps is the 3 D’s of electrical safety: Down. Danger. Dial. Practice this with your students by getting them to repeat “Down. Danger. Dial” out loud, three times.
If you or your students ever find yourself closer than 10 metres to a downed wire, there is a special technique to move away safely. We call this the “safety shuffle.” While keeping your feet rooted to the ground, shuffle your feet forward, heel to toe, until you are at least 10 metres away. Practice this in your classroom by getting students to stand up and shuffle around the room.
For activities to help educate students about downed power lines, check out: