The top reason for storm related power outages is tree branches hitting or becoming tangled in power lines. Keep tree branches trimmed at least 10’from power lines and you will reduce your chances of storm related outages.

Helpful Info

Tree Trimming

Falling branches cause most power outages. In preparation for hurricane season, trim your trees at least 10 feet from power lines to reduce storm related outages.

Before trimming trees that are close to powerlines, call us 3 weeks in advance to schedule a power shutdown so you can trim safely.

Storm Smart Guide

Download our Storm Smart guide, which is designed to help you to prepare, stay safe, and manage better through tropical storms and hurricanes. It’s important to make sure you’ve got everything you need to face them safely.

Downed Power Lines

Report downed power lines immediately by calling:

A downed power line can energise structures it comes into contact with, such as a fence, railing, or even a car. When lines from a utility pole fall to the ground, touch a fence, or land on a car, please remember:


  • Stay at least 33 feet or more away from downed powerlines (that’s approximately three car lengths)
  • Always assume downed powerlines are energised and dangerous
  • Stay clear of piles of debris or downed foliage that may conceal live power lines.


  • Don’t run from a fallen line. Running from a fallen line may cause your legs to bridge current from 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 (35 feet or more) away from other utility poles.
  • Don’t try to rescue anyone who has touched a downed power line because electrical current can travel through them to you and you risk becoming a victim yourself.

How to prepare 

Before the storm

Don’t wait until a storm watch is issued to make your preparations. Prepare you storm safety kit and make family emergency plans early!


  • Check with your insurer to ensure your home insurance covers storm damage, including power surges and spikes that may damage electronic equipment.
  • Stock up on emergency supplies, such as a first aid kit, batteries, flashlights, matches, tarpaulin, buckets, candles, etc.
  • Stock up on non-perishable foods, bottled water, and prescription medications.
  • Unplug all appliances, and electronics, which are not protected by surge protection equipment. It is also wise to unhook the cable box from your television.
  • Secure fuels outside and away from electrical panels.
  • If you plan to evacuate, shut off your electricity at the breaker box, and call BELCO.
During the storm

Our restoration crews cannot safely begin to restore power until hurricane-force winds or storm conditions subside. Do NOT call BELCO during a storm to report a power outage. However, DO call BELCO in the event of an emergency or life-threatening situations, such as downed power lines or pole fires, which will be handled immediately. In the event of downed wires, we can switch off power on that line from our central control room.


  • Keep your battery operated radio tuned to the Emergency Broadcast station, FM 100.1 MHz for weather and other storm-related updates.
  • NEVER use a generator indoors.
  • NEVER cook indoors with charcoal or other fossil fuels.
  • Stay indoors during high winds.
  • DO NOT go “sightseeing” during or immediately after a storm. You could risk your life as well as the lives of people who may try to help you should you get into trouble. You will also hamper the work of emergency crews and first responders.
After the storm

Once the height of the storm passes and weather reports indicate it is safe, BELCO immediately enters the restoration phase of our emergency operations. Our process is designed to assess and repair our facilities, and restore power across the island as quickly and safely as possible.


  • Please DO NOT call to report power outages in the immediate aftermath of a major storm so that telephone lines can be available for emergency calls. BELCO will issue a public advisory when to call.
  • Check for electrical damage, such as frayed wires, downed power lines, sparks, or the smell of hot or burned insulation. Call 955 to report.
  • Stay clear of piles of debris or downed foliage that may conceal live power lines.
  • Energised lines can be deceiving by appearing lifeless and harmless. DO NOT touch these lines! Stay a safe distance away—at least 30 feet or more!
  • DO NOT run from a fallen line. Running from a fallen line may cause your legs to bridge current from 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 (10 feet or more) away from other utility poles.
  • If you see someone injured after touching a downed power line, call 911 for help. Customers who have had advanced meters installed no longer need to report power outages as a signal will be received by BELCO automatically when any abnormality, such as a power outage, occurs.


How BELCO prepares

BELCO implements a set of emergency procedures when a hurricane, or tropical storm, becomes a threat. In June, at the start of the hurricane season, we ensure that our internal emergency procedures are up to date. All departments are involved, and each has a vital role to play in restoring power to the island.

BELCO remains in contact with emergency services and positions restoration equipment and crews in strategic locations across the island. Crews are put on alert in order to begin restoration procedures as soon as storm conditions subside. The BELCO vehicle fleet is fully fuelled, and stocked with the necessary tools and equipment required for restoring power. Line crews are mobilised with personnel designated to strategic locations throughout the island.

At BELCO’s Head Office, we establish a team of key personnel in order to effectively manage restoration efforts after the storm. This involves close liaison amongst our Grid Operations, Power Generation, Human Resources, and External Relations & Corporate Communications groups. The safety of our crews is a key priority, and as such, all preventative measures would have taken place prior to the storm’s passage. None of our crews work during the height of a storm.

Our priority is to restore power to all customers as quickly, and as safely, as possible. As soon as storm conditions subside, and it is safe to work, BELCO crews survey the damage to the electricity infrastructure, report findings and begin the restoration process. Depending on the damage created by the storm, this can be a lengthy process.

Restoring Power

The order of restoration is as follows: main circuits, branch lines and individual customers. BELCO restores main line circuits first, focusing initially on those that supply the Island’s essential services and critical infrastructure (i.e. Fire, Police, Hospitals, the Airport, Schools, Telecommunications, etc.) Repairs must be completed in the order above because main lines feed all other lines. An individual customer in the middle or at the end of a branch line cannot receive electricity until all of the repairs between they and the main power supply have been made.

For example, if your property is fed from a branch line but there is major damage to the main line upstream from which your branch line feeds, repairs must be completed on the main line first in order for your branch line to be able to receive electricity supply. We also work to bring on the largest pockets of outages first to restore power to the highest numbers of customers as quickly as possible.