Press Release: Caution Urged During Storm Clean Up

05 May 2018

Vermont Department of Public Safety
VT Emergency Management
Press Release
May 5, 2018

9:30 a.m.

Caution urged cleaning up after storm

WATERBURY – Severe storms in Vermont on Friday night downed a number of trees and power lines.  Many towns and homeowners will be cleaning up today and assessing damage, and should ensure they are cleaning up safely.  Those taking part in Green-Up Day should also be mindful of hazards.

Of vital importance while cleaning up is to remember that downed power lines are always considered to be “live” and should never be touched.  Of equal importance is to ensure trees and debris are not touching a power line as they conduct electricity and can be deadly.

Report power outages to your utility; do not assume the power company knows about it.  Your utility can also give you an estimate on how long you will be without service.  Green Mountain Power reminds customers that its consumer line to report outages and inquire about outage times is: (888) 835-4672.

If you will be without service for an extended period ensure you have bottled water, canned food, flashlights, and other essentials.

Other safety recommendations:

  • Check with relatives and neighbors who are elderly or have functional needs to ensure their safety.
  • Be extra cautious if you go outside to inspect for damage after a storm.  Downed or hanging electrical wires can be hidden by snowdrifts, trees or debris, and could be live.  Never attempt to touch or move downed lines.  Keep children and pets away from them.
  • Do not touch anything power lines are touching, such as tree branches or fences.  Always assume a downed line is a live line.  Call your utility company to report any outage-related problem.
  • If utilizing an emergency generator, read, understand and follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Always operate emergency generators outdoors and away from any open windows – exhaust from generators can lead to a deadly buildup of Carbon Monoxide (CO).
  • Ensure that your carbon monoxide detectors are working correctly and have fresh batteries..
  • During an outage, do not open the refrigerator or freezer door.  Food can stay cold in a full refrigerator for up to 24 hours, and in a well-packed freezer for 48 hours (24 hours if it is half-packed).  If you have medication that requires refrigeration, check with your pharmacist for guidance on proper storage during an extended outage.

Information and safety resources:

Sign up for Vermont Alert for weather, road, or emergency updates sent directly to your e-mail or cell phone:

Forecast information: or

Twitter feed for all agencies below:


Vermont State Police:
Vermont Division of Fire Safety:
Vermont Department of Health:
National Weather Service Burlington:
National Weather Service Albany:


Contact Information

45 State Drive
Waterbury, VT 05671-1300
(800) 347-0488
(802) 244-8721
(888) 545-7598 (TTY)

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