Seattle City Light has crews ready for a weather system that the National Weather Service forecasts to bring strong winds and heavy rain to the Puget Soundarea tonight.
“With many leaves still on area trees to catch the wind and rain that will weigh trees down, this storm could blow trees and branches into power lines, causing outages,” Superintendent Jorge Carrasco said. “Our crews are ready to respond and restore service as quickly and as safely as possible, but it is always important for each of us to be prepared.”
City Light trimmed trees along 450 miles of power lines in 2011 to reduce the risk of storm-related outages, but falling branches and trees are always a concern in high winds.
One important step residents can take is to put together an emergency preparedness kit. A kit should include enough food and supplies to last your family for at least three days, hand-crank or battery-operated flashlight and radio, fresh batteries, a survival blanket, a first aid kit, pocket tissues and hand sanitizer wipes. For a checklist and other tips, go to www.takewinterbystorm.org.
City Light also reminds customers to be safe. Downed lines can be dangerous.
Here’s what customers can do if they experience a power outage:
- Do not go near any downed wire. Wires should always be assumed to be “live” and dangerous. If someone seeks a downed wire, they should call (206) 684-3000;
- Do not use a barbecue grill or generator inside the house or in a garage that is attached to the house. Do not use a grill or generator near a home air intake vent or near windows;
- Do not use fossil fuel burning auxiliary heating sources;
- Know how to manually override electric garage doors, security doors and gates;
- Have a land line phone or fully charged cell phone available — cordless phones won’t work when the power is out;
- Make sure City Light has your home phone number and your cell phone number to ensure the system recognizes your telephone number if you call in to report an outage. Update your account information;
- Unplug electrical appliances if the power goes out so that when the power comes back on, there won’t be a surge that could damage sensitive electronic equipment;
- Use battery-powered flashlights – not candles or oil lamps;
- Close doors, windows, curtains, and unused fireplace dampers to retain heat if there is an outage.
A reminder that you can now track power outages on your mobile phone if you have Internet access. Just type into your browser http://m.seattle.gov/light for the latest information while you’re on the go.
Seattle City Light is the 10th largest public electric utility in theUnited States. It has some of the lowest cost customer rates of any urban utility, providing reliable, renewable and environmentally responsible power to nearly 1 millionSeattlearea residents. City Light has been greenhouse gas neutral since 2005, the first electric utility in the nation to achieve that distinction.