Power Outages - Neighborhood Safe Neighborhood
by Staff Neighborhood Safety Reporter
Do you have a plan for when the power goes out?
A power outage can last for just a few inconvenient hours, or days!
It could affect more than just your home and neighborhood; including banks, gas stations, food and medicine refrigeration, medical equipment, etc.
There is very little we can do to prevent power outages, but we can mitigate the effect they have on our family. Plan now to have what you need. Know how to stay safe.
Before a power outage:
__ Take an inventory of the items you need that rely on electricity. Consider both back-up, non-power alternatives and surge protectors.
__ Have flashlights for every household member; test them regularly. Don’t use candles; they can cause a fire.
__ Get a battery-powered radio with extra batteries and a wind-up clock,
__ Plan for extra batteries and other alternative power sources; including portable chargers or power banks, a solar, hand-cranked or car charger for your phone.
__ Have a plan for refrigerating medicines. Find out how long medication can be stored at higher temperatures and get specific guidance for any medications that are critical for life.
__ Have a plan for power-dependent medical devices. Register life-sustaining and medical equipment with your utility company.
__ Have enough nonperishable food and water.
__ Will your landline phone work in a power outage? If the handset is wired to the base, and the base is wired to the phone jack, it is likely to work.
__ If you own an electric garage door opener, know how to open the door without power.
__ Consider buying a generator.
__ Consider installation of a whole-house surge protector
__ Sign up for alert systems and apps for text alerts. Search the Web for local alerts, or contact your local emergency management agency. The Red Cross, FEMA and others have apps that allow you to get alerts related to extreme events. Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) are free messages sent to cell phones within range of potentially dangerous situations. You automatically receive alerts if you have a WEA-capable phone and your wireless carrier participates in the program. Check with your wireless provider to find out if you have a phone that receives WEA alerts.
City of Bellevue Alerts:
King County Alerts:
National Weather Service (enter zip code)
During a power outage:
__ Turn off (or disconnect) all lights, electrical appliances and devices that were ‘on’ when the power went off. Power may return with momentary surges or spikes that can cause damage.
__ Leave one lamp on so you will know when power is restored. Wait at least 15 minutes after power is restored before turning on other appliances.
__ Keep freezers and refrigerators closed. A refrigerator can keep food cold for about four hours. A full freezer will keep the temperature for about 48 hours. Use coolers with ice if necessary. Monitor temperatures with a thermometer. Throw out food if the temperature is 40 degrees or higher.
__ Use a generator, but ONLY outdoors and away from windows.
__ Do not use a gas stove or oven to heat your home.
__ Stay away from downed power lines and sagging trees with broken limbs.
For extended power outages:
__ Check with local officials about heated locations open near you.
This is safety feature #19. For previous articles, please search “Neighborhood Safe Neighborhood” on The Bellevue Zone <https://bellevuezone.town.news/search>
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(This is Neighborhood Safety Report #19).
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