of Washington has experienced many violent windstorms
in past years, and there is every likelihood they
will come again and again. These storms have been
known to kill and injure people, destroy homes and
businesses, knock out public utilities and leave thousands
of people without power anywhere from a few hours
to ten or more days.
The following steps will help you prepare for the
next windstorm and the power outages that generally
Have a disaster plan; and assemble a disaster supplies
kit (include several flashlights, battery powered
radio, extra batteries and a wind-up clock).
Anchor outdoor objects that can blow away.
Fill vehicles with gas in case the gas stations lose
Register life-sustaining equipment with your utility.
Consider buying a small generator to power electrically
powered life-sustaining equipment.
When installing generators, follow the manufacturer's
instructions and have it inspected by the utility
company and state electrical inspector.
Have a corded telephone available. Cordless phones
do not work when the power is out.
Post the phone number of the New Construction, Repairs
and Power Outage listing of your local utility.
Learn how to open your electric garage door using
the manual override.
Make sure you have an alternate heat source and fuel
Do not drive or go outside in high winds. Avoid windows.
Stay far away from downed power lines.
Report the outage to your local utility, otherwise,
use the phone for emergencies only.
If you are the only one without power, check your
fuse box or circuit breaker panel. Turn off large
appliances before replacing fuses or resetting circuits.
If power is out in the neighborhood, disconnect all
electrical heaters and appliances to reduce the initial
demand and protect motors from possible low voltage
Connect lights and appliances directly to a generator,
not to an existing electrical system.
If you leave home, turn off or unplug heat producing
Unplug computers and other voltage sensitive equipment
to protect them from power surges.
Conserve water, especially if you are on a well.
Keep doors, windows and draperies closed to retain
Keep refrigerator and freezer doors closed. If doors
remain closed, a fully loaded freezer can
keep foods frozen for two days.
Be extremely careful of fire hazards caused by candles
or other flammable sources.
When using kerosene heaters, gas lanterns or stoves
indoors, maintain ventilation to avoid a build-up
of toxic fumes.
Do not use charcoal indoors.
Leave on light switch on to alert you when the power