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BE PREPARED...

Snow storms can cause power outages

Beautiful, serene winter scenes like this one in the Lower Yakima Valley were created with last night’s snowfall, which measured just two inches. However, the inclement weather can lead to power outages, and local residents are advised to be prepared for such emergencies.

Beautiful, serene winter scenes like this one in the Lower Yakima Valley were created with last night’s snowfall, which measured just two inches. However, the inclement weather can lead to power outages, and local residents are advised to be prepared for such emergencies. Photo by Rod Smith.

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With significant snow, ice and wind hitting all parts of the Northwest, Pacific Power is reminding its customers and the public to take precautions to stay safe and comfortable.

“We work hard to avoid outages, but when bad weather strikes - outages happen, and we work just as hard to get your power back on quickly and safely,” said Doug Butler, vice president of operations.

“Based on experience, we’ve anticipated and prepared, and we’re ready to assist customers should major outages occur. Just as our crews are prepared to respond, we ask our customers to be prepared as well so we can work together to keep safety the No. 1 priority,” Butler added.

Every home, he said, should have an emergency kit that includes the following: flashlight, battery-operated radio and clock, extra batteries, non-perishable foods, manual can opener, bottled water and blankets.

If a power outage occurs, Pacific Power encourages customers to first check fuses and circuit breakers. If the power failure is not caused inside the home or business, the customer should report the outage to Pacific Power at 1-877-508-5088.

To ease the inconvenience of power outages and assist crews in restoring power, Pacific Power suggests the following tips and safety precautions:

  • Stay away from all downed power lines and utility lines. Even if the lines are not sparking, they could be energized and extremely dangerous.

  • Call and report the outage to Pacific Power at 1-877-508-5088.

  • Candles should never be left unattended or used for extended periods. Use a flashlight or other battery-powered lighting source.

  • Use a fireplace or wood stove to keep warm. Pay careful attention to fire hazards.

  • Never use kerosene or propane heaters inside without proper ventilation. They create dangerous fumes. Also, don’t use charcoal in your house or garage.

  • Never use a barbecue grill indoors. Cook over sterno cans.

  • Don’t drive over downed power lines.

  • Turn on your porch light switch. After crews complete repairs, they patrol the area of the power failure to see if lights are on.

  • As much as possible, do not open refrigerators and freezers; they will keep food and perishables inside cold for some time if not opened.

  • Preserve body heat by wearing multiple layers of clothing. Add a hat and blanket to stay warm. Blankets and towels around windows and doors help keep the heat in.

  • Check on your neighbors, especially those who may need special assistance. Also, check with others who have electricity, to see if you can visit.

  • Protect your pipes during freezing weather by wrapping them with insulation. Also, leave faucets dripping so water won’t freeze and crack the pipes.

  • Generators should be outside or in a well ventilated unoccupied space.

  • Make sure generators are properly wired for your home or business, and don’t connect a generator directly to your home’s main fuse box or circuit panel. This can create a dangerous back feed hazard for line crews.

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