In case you’ve missed it, the National Weather Service predicts stormy weather this week in the Puget Sound area. These stormy conditions are expected to begin Tuesday, Oct. 17, and have the potential to last until late in the evening of Thursday, Oct. 19. If your power goes out, please check City Light’s outage map to get regular updates on the outage status.
Now is the time to take action by creating a plan for you, your family and your property. Here is a short list of tips to be safe and prepared for this week’s storm:
1) Clear out your drains and gutters
Leaves are still on trees at this point in the fall season. Rain and high winds may cause trees to lose their leaves, and the additional drag created by leaves makes broken branches far more likely. if you can, prune the trees on your property; less broken branches lead to less outages.
2) Unplug electrical appliances
Be sure to turn off electrical appliances to prevent fires and equipment damage. Some electrical appliances to consider unplugging before a storm hits are computers and televisions; you don’t want to lose files or expensive equipment.
3) Stay away from downed power lines
Downed power lines are extremely dangerous. If you come across any downed lines, do not approach or touch anything in contact with the wire, as it could be energized. If you see a downed power line, call 911 or (206) 684-3000. You can also report downed power lines to City Light’s Twitter and Facebook accounts.
4) Be cautious with generators and grills
Use generators with care during a power outage and always use portable generators outside in well-ventilated areas. Never plug a generator into your home circuitry. Instead, plug in appliances directly into the outlets on the generator. Do not use your charcoal or propane grills indoors.
5) Have your emergency kit and a plan ready
Prepare an emergency kit if you haven’t already. Some ideas to include are a working flashlight, glow-in-the-dark stick lights, wind-up clock, portable radio, manual can opener and mylar blanket. During a major storm, have a plan for locating family members in case you are not with them.
(For more information about emergency kits and plans, please visit: www.takewinterbystorm.org.)
6) Keep your phone ready
Cordless phones will not work without electricity. Have a corded or cell phone available. If your cell phone is your primary phone, make sure it is charged and you have a phone charger ready. Now is a good time to charge up your external batteries, too.
7) Prepare your life-support systems
If you rely on electric life-support machines, make sure you have emergency power and know how to operate it. Make sure your system has an alarm to alert you if the power goes out.
8) Remember the rules of the road
In the event you encounter an intersection with a dark or flashing signal, treat the intersection as an all-way stop.
9) Close your refrigerator/freezer
Keep your fridge and freezer closed as much as possible. A full refrigerator will maintain safe temperatures for up to six to 10 hours; a full freezer up to two days. In most cases, food should be safe if refrigerators and freezers remain closed while the power is out. When in doubt, throw it out.
10) Remember your pets!
Household pets such as cats, dogs, fish and birds may require special care. Contact your veterinarian for more information.
If you experience an outage, please report it by calling (206) 684-3000.
For more information on how to prepare for this winter’s weather, visit takewinterbystorm.org/.