As a weather system moves into the region, it’s expected to bring heavy rain, snow and winds. PG & E warns that can mean power outages. Officials say the combined impact of several days of ground-saturating rain, and heavy snow, could result in trees falling in some areas, taking down power lines and interrupting electric service.
Each year, PG & E crews inspect more than 130,000 miles of power lines and spend more than $180 million to reduce the hazards of trees and bushes. But with the coming storms this weekend, PG&E offers these tips:
• Customers can call the 24-hour Outage Service Line at 1-800-743-5002 to report an outage, to report a hazardous condition or to get the latest information on outages in their community.
• Assume downed power lines are energized and extremely dangerous. Do not touch or try to move them – and keep children and animals away. Report downed power lines immediately by calling 911 and PG&E at 1-800-743-5002.
• If your power goes out, turn off or unplug all electric appliances; otherwise, several appliances may come back on at once and overload your circuits when power is restored. Hot appliances also pose a fire hazard if they come back on while you’re away or asleep. Leave a single lamp on to alert you when power returns. Turn your appliances back on one at a time when conditions return to normal.
• Have battery-operated radios with fresh batteries ready for updates on storm conditions and power outages.
• Have battery-operated flashlights with fresh batteries on hand.
• Have a cell phone or hard-wire, single-line telephone on hand. Cordless phones will not work without electricity.
• Fill used liter-size plastic soda bottles with water and place them in the freezer. During an extended outage, transfer them to your refrigerator to prevent food from spoiling. Open the refrigerator only when necessary to keep warm air out and cooler air in.
• If you have a generator, inform PG&E and do not use it unless it is installed safely and properly.