High Wind Warning: Be Prepared for Potential Outages

The National Weather Service has issued a High Wind Warning for the Seattle area, and it will remain in effect until 9 p.m. tonight. Seattle City Light is readying supplementary crews and resources in order to respond to potential outages, and you should be ready too. While wind-related outages are not a sure thing this evening, we want you to be prepared in case they do occur.

If you experience an outage, please report it by calling (206) 684-3000. You can also visit the Seattle City Light Outage Map to get updates on restoration work, as well as following City Light’s Twitter and Facebook accounts.

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.

Winter Weather Advisory: Be Prepared in Case of Power Outages

The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Weather Advisory for the Seattle area, and it will remain in effect until 9 p.m. tonight.  While storm-related outages are not a sure thing this evening, we want you to be prepared in case they do occur. Seattle City Light customers could experience power outages due to snow-heavy foliage falling into power lines.

If you experience an outage, please report it by calling (206) 684-3000. You can also visit the Seattle City Light Outage Map to get updates on restoration work, as well as following City Light’s Twitter and Facebook accounts.

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.

Seattle City Light, Snohomish PUD Ready to Take Winter By Storm

JoAnn Jordan from the Seattle Department of Emergency Management reviews the Brown family’s efforts as part of a Take Winter By Storm preparedness challenge.

Are you ready for whatever stormy conditions Mother Nature may bring to the Pacific Northwest in the coming months? That was the challenge recently posed to Andrew Brown and his family by Seattle City Light, Snohomish PUD and the other partners in the annual Take Winter By Storm campaign. The Brown family was given one week to pull together all of the essential items needed to weather an extended power outage.

“We tried to make it a fun activity so our kids could get involved and learn a bit about being prepared for fierce winter weather,” Brown said. “It was timely since some of the items we had on hand, including a burst water jug, needed to be replaced.”

Emergency responders and utility officials reviewed the Brown family’s preparations, including what they did well and how they could improve. The team was led by JoAnn Jordan, public education coordinator for the City of Seattle Office of Emergency Management.

“They did an exceptional job assembling the types of things we all need during long winter storms – flashlights, batteries, blankets, food and water,” Jordan said. “Too many of us wait until the last minute and get caught in the rush to stock up when supplies may be limited. And there are simple things that are easy to miss, like having some extra cash in small bills available, making sure cell phones are fully charged and that having easy-to-prepare meals available when the power is out.”

During the check of the Brown home on a hillside above the Snohomish Valley, crews from Seattle City Light and Snohomish County PUD also called out ways they’re prepared to get out quickly and restore power during storms. Trucks are fully stocked with necessary tools and equipment, line crews have extra warm clothing, glove warmers and safety markers for work zones. Utilities also monitor multiple weather services as storms develop and set up contract crews and mutual aid agreements with other utilities to assist with major storms.

Crew Chief Mike Gibbons tells Q13 Fox News how to stay safe around downed power lines during the Take Winter By Storm event.

The message that the utilities have repeatedly reinforced is that they’re doing everything they can to be prepared to restore power quickly, and they want your family to be prepared too so you’re safe and comfortable this winter season.

The Take Winter By Storm campaign is a collaborative, public-private effort spanning Western Washington that includes Seattle City Light and Seattle Public Utilities, Snohomish County Public Utility District, the cities of Bellevue and Seattle, State Farm, National Weather Service/NOAA, and other local retailers – which represent Washington state’s largest counties and city emergency management offices and utilities, the leading insurer of homes and automobiles, weather forecasters, first responders during disaster occurrences and local businesses. These organizations have joined forces in the major multi-media public awareness campaign to raise community awareness of hazardous weather and help protect lives and property.