Imagine this scenario: You’re driving in your neighborhood and BAM! another car crashes into a utility pole. In an instant, the pole crashes onto your vehicle.
What would you do?
Now, it may seem like an unlikely scenario, but it can happen. In fact, it happened to a teenager in Ohio last month (click here to watch their amazing story!) Odds are, you may not be sure what to do if you see a downed wire on the ground. Thankfully, we have a few tips for you.
Tip: If you find yourself near a downed power line, don’t walk or run…SHUFFLE! Keep your feet together and move at least 20 feet away. If a downed power line falls on your car, stay inside and call 911. Check out the video below featuring City Light’s own Ed Hill from Seattle Channel’s City Stream for a demonstration of how to do the Downed Wire Shuffle.
Never touch or approach a downed wire or anything in contact with the wire.
Seattle City Light repair crews are responding to reports of power outages across the City Light service area. As of 5 p.m. on Nov. 13, 2017, about 51,000 customers are affected from Mountlake Terrace to Burien.
City Light has readied extra crews and resources in order to respond to outages this evening, and power will be restored to everyone in our service area as quickly as safely possible.
If you are experiencing an outage, visit the Seattle City Light Outage Map to get updates on restoration work. You can also follow City Light’s Twitter and Facebook accounts to get updates on outages. If your outage is not on the map, you may report it by calling (206) 684-3000.
Power outages have been reported from Mountlake Terrace to Burien
Here are some tips to stay safe and warm during an outage:
- 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 and live. If you see a downed power line, call 911 or (206) 684-3000. You can also report downed power lines by sharing it through City Light’s Twitter and Facebook accounts.
- 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. When it comes to the grill, do not use barbeques indoors.
- Keep Warm and Bundle Up – Try to retain as much heat as possible. Close windows, curtains, unused fireplace dampers, and have blankets ready to conserve body heat. Cold weather is especially hard on infants, children and the elderly. Dress in several layers of lightweight clothing, covering the head, feet and hands.
- Have Your Emergency Kit/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.
- Use Hot Water Sparingly – Most hot water tanks will retain heat for up to 24 to 72 hours.
- 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 2 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.
- Unplug Electrical Appliances – If you experience a prolonged outage, 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.
- Be Fire Safe – Do not use candles as a light source nor any open flame as a heat source.
- Have 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.
- Electric Garage Owners – Know how to use the manual override of your electric garage door if your power goes out.
- Remember Your Pets – Household pets such as cats, dogs, fish and birds may require special care. Contact your veterinarian for more information.
- Life-Support Customers – 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.
- Report the Outage – If you want to report a power outage, please contact the Seattle City Light Power Outage Hotline at (206) 684-3000. Please remember to give us your name, address, phone number and describe any unusual circumstances that could help us identify the problem.
Safety is our number one priority here at City Light, and our partnership with Take Winter By Storm demonstrates our commitment to both safety awareness and emergency preparedness. With the recent landslide in West Seattle, we wanted to share a few tips that can help prepare you for such an event and provide information on what to do in case of a power blackout.
A landslide in West Seattle on Feb. 15, 2017
How does a Landslide occur?
The USGS defines a landslide as “the movement of a mass of rock, debris, or earth down a slope.” A landslide can be triggered by earthquakes, volcanic activity, snowmelt, changes in water level, or in this case, heavy rainfall. The topography (and weather) of Washington State increases our susceptibility to these types of natural disasters so it’s important to be aware of its causes and to be prepared.
How to Prepare for a Landslide
If you know that your home or place of business lies in a potential landslide path, prepare, prepare, prepare!
- Power up: As seen in West Seattle, your power can go out in the event of a landslide. It’s important to have alternative forms of power on-hand. Whether it’s battery-operated, solar-powered, or crank up, a radio is a good emergency device to have. It will keep you connected to critical news and information until your power is restored. Flashlights and emergency light sticks are other useful tools that will keep your area lit.
- Have a plan: Devise a plan with those around you so you know what to do in case of an emergency. This will also ensure you have a headcount for those of whom you’re responsible.
- Emergency backpack: Never underestimate the *power* of an emergency supply. Stash yours with warm blankets, sweatshirts, water, and nutrient-filled snacks, to keep you warm and nourished until your power returns. This checklist by Take Winter by Storm provides more in-depth detail about what your emergency backpack should contain (including a first aid kit).
- Get weather ready: Winter is arguably Mother Nature’s harshest season. Be prepared with this detailed pamphlet from Take Winter by Storm, outlining necessary steps to get your home weather ready.
What to do During a Landslide
If caught in a landslide, there are multiple safety measures you can enact:
- Call 911: This should be the first thing you do. Authorities can best assess the situation, take the right steps to ensure safety, provide orders of evacuations, and aid to injured parties.
- In case of a blackout: Report any power outages to our hotline at 206-684-3000. Want to know the status of an outage and the area affected? Check out our power outage map or follow us on Twitter (@SEACityLight) or Facebook for updates. Don’t go near any fallen power lines or wires, and don’t try to fix your electricity. Know that Seattle City Light crews are working hard and fast to get your power restored.
- Be alert: This applies for all activity, but is especially important when driving. Roads are often affected by landslides so watch for collapsed pavement, mud, fallen rocks and other signs of fallen debris. Should you come across a fallen power line, keep a safe distance and report it to 206-684-3000.
- Sound matters: Pay close attention for any unusual noise (e.g. trees cracking, rocks tumbling) that can indicate moving debris.
For more safety tips and information, visit takewinterbystorm.org. For updates on power outages and more, follow Seattle City Light on Twitter at @SEACityLight, on Facebook at or visit our website at http://www.seattle.gov/light/.
City Light crews worked through the night to restore power to thousands of customers as a severe wind storm came through Puget Sound Thursday evening.
2,046 customers in various parts of Seattle remain in the dark. Crews are responding. Customers can get updated outage information online at www.seattle.gov/light/sysstat.
About Seattle City Light: Seattle City Light is the 10th largest public electric utility in the United States. It has some of the lowest cost customer rates of any urban utility, providing reliable, renewable and environmentally responsible power to nearly 1 million Seattle area residents. City Light has been greenhouse gas neutral since 2005, the first electric utility in the nation to achieve that distinction.