In the Northwest, the months of October through March are often referred to as “Outage Season” due to the harsh and sometimes destructive weather they bring. From wind and rain, to less frequent snow and ice storms, extreme weather can damage even the toughest, most reliable electric systems.
During an outage, crews work quickly and often through the night to restore power; however, your safety and comfort may depend on how well you’ve prepared. Emergencies and outages strike without warning—are you ready?
How to Prepare
- Start by building or restocking an emergency kit.
- Store flashlights, lanterns, batteries, and a battery-operated radio where you can easily find them, even in the dark.
- Include emergency phone numbers, cash, and first aid supplies.
If you or a family member requires electricity for health care or life-support equipment, prepare a backup emergency plan to meet your needs.
- Talk to your medical provider about a power outage plan. Include in your plan alternative ways or locations where you can power electric medical devices and/or refrigerate medications.
- If you have a backup power supply, know exactly how long it will last.
- Make arrangements to stay with friends or family ahead of time if needed.
- Never go near downed power lines or objects touching a downed line. Always treat downed lines as though they are energized, even if they don’t appear to be. Lines can be energized at any moment with a deadly amount of electricity.
- Stay clear of areas where fallen tree limbs are suspended in power lines.
- If you know there's a storm headed to your area, take that opportunity to get supplies ready before it arrives! Planning ahead helps to keep you and your family safe and comfortable if power goes out.
- Gather extra blankets and clothing you can layer to stay warm.
- Make sure you have food that doesn't require heat to prepare.
- Make books, games, playing cards, and art supplies available. They'll help keep your family entertained and amused until power is restored.