SEATTLE — It's winter storm season in Washington, and windstorms are taking out power all over the Puget Sound. Are you prepared for a power outage? Puget Sound Energy’s Andrew Padula joins New Day Northwest to share tips that will help you get ready.
Padula's most important advice is to be prepared for an outage or a downed power line no matter where you are.
"Have the essentials that you need, whether it be at home, in the car, at work, wherever you may be when a storm hits so that you have the things that you need," Padula said.
People should have things like food, medications, and firewood prepared to stay safe in an outage.
Padula also stressed how important it is to stay safe around downed power lines. Puget Sound Energy recommends people stay at least 35 feet away from any downed line.
In the event that a power line falls on your car, call 911.
"If you are stuck in a car there are safer ways to get out of it," Padula said. "It's a process of jumping out of the car without touching it."
Even hunkering down at home comes with its own set of challenges. Padula cautions against using grills to cook during an outage because of the potential for carbon monoxide poisoning. While it's fine to cook with a gas stove, people should also avoid using their stove or oven to heat their house to prevent poisoning as well.
If you use a generator during an outage, make sure to plug appliances into it directly. Padula also warns against plugging a generator into your home wiring.
"The electricity could go back out into the power lines which could injure our workers as they're out repairing lines," Padula said.
Padula encourages people to keep portable chargers so they can stay connected during an outage. You can check Puget Sound Energy's outage map for estimates on when the power will be restored, download their app, or call at 1-888-225-5773
While windstorms are here to stay for the winter season, Puget Sound Energy is constantly working to restore power all across the sound even if they haven't yet made it to your neighborhood. Workers have to check the lines and the substations before they can make it out to your neck of the woods.