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PG&E winter storm safety tips; Be prepared before your power goes out

Posted at 6:56 AM, Jan 08, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-08 09:56:15-05
As the heavy rain hits Kern County the next few days, PG&E has shared several tips on what to do if your power goes out.
Be prepared before storms arrive:
·         Have battery-operated flashlights and radios with fresh batteries ready. Listen for updates on storm conditions and power outages.
·         If you have a cordless phone or answering machine that requires electricity to work, have a standard telephone or cell phone ready as a backup.
·         Keep your cell phone charged, and have a portable charging device handy.
·         Freeze plastic containers filled with water to make blocks of ice that can be placed in your refrigerator/freezer during an outage to prevent food from spoiling.
·         If you have a stand-by generator, notify PG&E and make sure that it’s installed safely to avoid risking damage to your property and endangering PG&E workers who could be working on power lines in your neighborhood. Information on the safe installation of generators can be found on our website[]. 
·         Secure outdoor furniture, lightweight yard structures and decorative lawn items that can be blown by high winds to prevent them from damaging overhead power lines and property.
If outages occur:
·         Stay away from downed power lines. Treat all downed power lines as if they are energized and extremely dangerous. Keep yourself and others well away from them and immediately call 911, then notify PG&E’s 24-hour emergency and customer service line at 1-800-743-5002.
·         Candles pose a fire risk. Avoid using them during a power outage. If you must use candles, keep them away from drapes, lampshades and small children. Do not leave candles unattended.
·         If your power goes out, unplug or turn off electric appliances to avoid overloading circuits and fire hazards when power is restored. Simply 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.
Before calling PG&E about a power outage:
·         Sign up for PG&E’s outage alerts, which provide customer updates via phone calls, texts or emails. Go to your My Energy account or click[] for more information.
·         Check to see if other neighbors are affected. This will confirm if an outage is impacting the neighborhood or just your residence.
·         If you don’t see your outage listed on our outage maps, report your outage to PG&E's Electric Outage Information Line at 1-800-743-5002. Our phone lines may become very busy during major storms, and we appreciate your patience if you are trying to reach us.