With wind warning for Sunday, tips if you lose power

pinterest_outageThe National Weather service has issued a wind warning for Sunday, which means that late-afternoon wind gusts in our area could reach 70 miles per hour.

If you lose power, here are some tips from Snohomish County PUD:

You can call the PUD to report an outage 24 hours a day 7 days a week at 425-783-1001. Leave the following information:
-Name of customer
-Street and house number
-Status of neighborhood lights

Power outages can be caused by a number of things, such as trees falling onto power lines or by car accidents involving power poles. If the power goes out, please remember these important tips:Stay at least 30 feet away from any fallen power lines, including lines that are sagging or broken. Also, don’t cut up fallen trees that are entangled with power lines. The safe thing to do is assume all power lines are alive and can be a killer if touched.

-Call the PUD if you have specific information about the location of a downed tree or if you see a power line on the ground. Outages can be reported by calling 425-783-1001. If it’s a life-threatening situation or medical emergency, call 911.

-Try to remember what was turned on at the time the power went out and turn the switches to those items to the “off ” position. It’s especially important to turn off anything that has a heating element, such as the electric range, an iron, or a toaster oven. Turning items off will prevent a fire when the power is restored.

-Unplug sensitive electronics to prevent damage from potential electrical surges. It’s not necessary to turn off hot water heaters.

-Don’t try to power your house by plugging a portable generator into a wall outlet. The generator will back feed electricity through the meter and out into the neighborhood, which will cause a severe safety hazard to neighbors and line workers. If using a portable generator, make sure the appliances being powered are plugged directly to the generator or make sure your home is disconnected from the PUD’s electric system with a transfer switch installed by a licensed electrician.

-Make sure you have fresh batteries for flashlights. Always exercise extreme caution if you use candles or oil lamps. Never leave them unattended and keep them away from furniture, drapes, and other flammable materials.

-Keep your refrigerator and freezer closed as much as possible. The contents should be good for at least 24 hours if the door is kept closed. After that, use dry ice for the continued protection of your food.

-Stay warm. Choose a small room with few windows as your emergency living quarters. Keep the windows, drapes, and doors closed. Also, dress warmly. Wear several layers of clothes and don’t forget to wear a hat.

-Conserve water, especially in areas where well pumps and pumping stations may be without power.

-If you use a portable heater that burns liquid fuel, make sure you have a window open for ventilation.

-Stay informed. MLTnews will update our readers with power outage information that we receive from Snohomish County PUD. You also may want to bookmark this link to the PUD Storm Outage Map. It is activated when there is a major outage in Snohomish County.

Also, here’s a reminder of how PUD prioritizes power outages:

The first focus is on outages at the higher-voltage transmission level, which power substations with large numbers of customers, hospitals, schools and businesses. Hazardous oil spills, wires blocking highways or major roadways or wires fallen on buildings or vehicles also get high priority.

Next are main circuits from substations that serve neighborhoods and businesses.

Smaller outages are next addressed — those that may serve a handful of homes.

Finally outages for non-essential street lights are resolved.

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