If you're in the path of the hurricanes, and you're going to be involved in cleanup efforts, be sure to protect yourself during the process. There are a lot of hazards out there when it comes to cleaning up after a hurricane, and most of them involve water. One hazard, in particular, involves electricity and live wires. After a hurricane, when so much of the ground is covered in water, it's impossible to know when an electrical hazard is present. As a result, it's important for you to be diligent at all times. To protect yourself from electrical hazards during the cleanup effort, here are three important steps you should take:

Have the Power Disconnected

If you're going to be wading into the water to clean your own home, contact the electric company for your area and have them disconnect the power. Wading into the water when the power is on to your home could pose a serious threat to your safety. If the electric company is unable to turn your power off right away, wait to enter your home until they can. This may delay your cleanup for a few hours, or days, but it's better to avoid the hazard.

Watch Where You Walk

If you're going to be participating in a community cleanup effort, and you don't know if the power has been turned off, always treat the area as if it hasn't been. This will help you remain aware of the danger around you. Before you enter the water, try to see down to the ground below you. If you can, look for possible electrical hazards, such as landscaping lights, especially if they're the type that is hardwired to the house. If the wiring has been exposed to water, it's a safe bet that the water you're about to step into is electrically charged. Don't step in until the city can turn the power off to the area.

Beware of Transformers

If you're going to be working in an area where an industrial transformer is present, you'll need to watch for potential warning signs. Even if the transformers are installed on poles, high above the ground, they could still pose a potential risk to those around it. If the transformer begins to spark, or make a loud humming noise, leave the area immediately, and contact the electric company. Don't enter the area again until the transformer can be secured.

If you're going to be part of the cleanup effort, don't mess around with electrical hazards. Follow the guidelines provided here to keep yourself safe while you're involved in a community cleanup.