Louisiana Department of Health has verified one death tied to Hurricane Zeta.
A 55-year-old male in Orleans Parish died after being electrocuted by a downed power line.
This is the only confirmed death related to Hurricane Zeta at this time. Deaths are determined to be storm-related by the local coroner.
Guard against electrical hazards
Avoid electrical hazards both in your home and elsewhere:
- Never touch a fallen power line. Call the power company to report fallen power lines.
- Avoid contact with overhead power lines during cleanup and other activities.
- Do not drive through standing water if downed power lines are in the water.
- If a power line falls across your car while you are driving, stay inside the vehicle and continue to drive away from the line. If the engine stalls, do not turn off the ignition. Warn people not to touch the car or the line. Call or ask someone to call the local utility company and emergency services. Do not allow anyone other than emergency personnel to approach your vehicle.
- If electrical circuits and electrical equipment have gotten wet or are in or near water, turn off the power at the main breaker or fuse on the service panel. Do not enter standing water to access the main power switch. Call an electrician to turn it off.
- Never turn power on or off yourself or use an electric tool or appliance while standing in water. Do not turn the power back on until electrical equipment has been inspected by a qualified electrician. All electrical equipment and appliances must be completely dry before returning them to service. Have a certified electrician check these items if there is any question.
- If you see frayed wiring or sparks when you restore power, or if there is an odor of something burning but no visible fire, you should immediately shut off the electrical system at the main circuit breaker.
If you believe someone has had electric shock take the following steps:
- Look first. Don’t touch. The person may still be in contact with the electrical source. Touching the person may pass the current through you.
- Call or have someone else call 911 or emergency medical help.
- Turn off the source of electricity if possible. If not, move the source away from you and the affected person using a non-conducting object made of cardboard, plastic or wood.
- Once the person is free of the source of electricity, check the person’s breathing and pulse. If either has stopped or seems dangerously slow or shallow, begin CPR immediately.
- If the person is faint or pale or shows other signs of shock, lay him or her down with the head slightly lower than the trunk of the body and the legs elevated.
- Don’t touch burns, break blisters or remove burned clothing. Electrical shock may cause burns inside the body, so be sure the person is taken to a doctor.