Wind storm tonight – be prepared and stay safe!

SNAP Advisory for Seattle Emergency Preparedness Subscribers:

Today, the National Weather Service issued a Wind Advisory for the Seattle area starting at 7 pm tonight through noon Tuesday. The strongest winds are expected to hit at midnight and last into the early morning hours on Tuesday, from 5-8 am. We can anticipate winds between 20-30 mph with gusts up to 45 mph.

Crews from the Seattle Department of Transportation and Seattle Public Utilities have been working together closely over the past few weeks to keep streets swept and cleared of fallen leaves. As periods of heavy rain are expected to move into the area on Tuesday, now is a good time to clear your own storm drains of any leaves or debris that may clog the system. For more information on how to “Adopt a Drain,” go to: http://www.seattle.gov/util/Services/Drainage_&_Sewer/Keep_Water_Safe_&_Clean/AdoptADrain/index.htm

Please see the news release from Seattle City light that outlines other actions you can take to be ready for potential power outages:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: Scott Thomsen

Nov. 21, 2011 Phone: 206/615-0978

SEATTLE CITY LIGHT WARNS CUSTOMERS ABOUT HIGH WIND PREDICTIONS

Utility Prepares for Possible Outages

SEATTLE – Seattle City Light has crews ready for a weather system that the National Weather Service forecasts to bring strong winds and heavy rain to the Puget Sound area tonight.

“With many leaves still on area trees to catch the wind and rain that will weigh trees down, this storm could blow trees and branches into power lines, causing outages,” Superintendent Jorge Carrasco said. “Our crews are ready to respond and restore service as quickly and as safely as possible, but it is always important for each of us to be prepared.”

City Light trimmed trees along 450 miles of power lines in 2011 to reduce the risk of storm-related outages, but falling branches and trees are always a concern in high winds.

One important step residents can take is to put together an emergency preparedness kit. A kit should include enough food and supplies to last your family for at least three days, hand-crank or battery-operated flashlight and radio, fresh batteries, a survival blanket, a first aid kit, pocket tissues and hand sanitizer wipes. For a checklist and other tips, go to www.takewinterbystorm.org.

City Light also reminds customers to be safe. Downed lines can be dangerous.

Here’s what customers can do if they experience a power outage:
•Do not go near any downed wire. Wires should always be assumed to be “live” and dangerous. If someone seeks a downed wire, they should call (206) 684-3000;

•Do not use a barbecue grill or generator inside the house or in a garage that is attached to the house. Do not use a grill or generator near a home air intake vent or near windows;

•Do not use fossil fuel burning auxiliary heating sources;

•Know how to manually override electric garage doors, security doors and gates;

•Have a land line phone or fully charged cell phone available — cordless phones won’t work when the power is out;

•Make sure City Light has your home phone number and your cell phone number to ensure the system recognizes your telephone number if you call in to report an outage. Update your account information;
•Unplug electrical appliances if the power goes out so that when the power comes back on, there won’t be a surge that could damage sensitive electronic equipment;
•Use battery-powered flashlights – not candles or oil lamps;

· Close doors, windows, curtains, and unused fireplace dampers to retain heat if there is an outage.

A reminder that you can now track power outages on your mobile phone if you have Internet access. Just type into your browser http://m.seattle.gov/light for the latest information while you’re on the go.

Seattle City Light is the 10th largest public electric utility in the United States. It has some of the lowest cost customer rates of any urban utility, providing reliable, renewable and environmentally responsible power to nearly 1 million Seattle area residents. City Light has been greenhouse gas neutral since 2005, the first electric utility in the nation to achieve that distinction.

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