By TIM SMITH
What should you do if you find an electrical wire on your property after a storm?
Despite what your instincts might tell you, the answer is not to run as fast as you can in the opposite direction.
Power firm Belco warned that, while you should keep your distance, the act of running increases your chances of getting a shock.
“If a member of the public ever comes across a downed line, which can pose extreme danger, they should always assume the downed line is energised and dangerous and stay at least 35 feet away,” a spokesman said.
“Do not run from a fallen line. Running may cause your legs to bridge current from a higher to lower voltage and you may receive a shock.
“Instead, keep your legs together and shuffle away with both feet on the ground. Shuffle a safe distance away from the downed line and other utility poles.”
Anyone who finds downed wires on their property should call 955. Belco will attend the scene and make it is safe before removing any damaged infrastructure, including fallen poles and wires.
After a hurricane, of course, you may also find garbage, trees and other items on your property.
Steve Cosham, the National Disaster Co-ordinator, offered advice on what to do when you discover other people’s belongings in your yard.
“Obviously things blow around during a hurricane,” Mr Cosham said.
“If anyone finds something they believe needs to be returned to the owner and doesn’t know who the owner is, then they should call the police and it will be treated as found property.
“If they find debris on their property from someone else’s house, that can be thrown away.”
The Ministry of Public Works is responsible for clearing highways and government properties following a storm.
But unwanted trash and horticultural waste that makes its way into your garden is your own responsibility.
A spokesman said: “The public will be aware that following a hurricane making landfall in Bermuda, the Ministry must direct all available resources to service the general public by restoring highway access and road safety.
“As such, we cannot assist residents with cleaning private properties after a storm. Traditionally, however, horticultural tipping fees are waived to encourage and assist the public with the disposal of bulk waste and fallen debris.”
The spokesman added that an initiative would soon be launched to help residents clean their properties ahead of storms.