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Power outage tips

Feather Publishing
12/28/2010

With stormy weather approaching, PG&E offers these safety tips to help prepare for the possibility of power outages.

Be prepared for power outages year-round with these tips:

  • Have battery-operated flashlights and radios with fresh batteries ready. Listen for updates on storm conditions and power outages.
  • If you have a telephone system that requires electricity to work, such as a cordless phone or answering machine, plan for alternate communication – have a standard telephone handset, cellular telephone or pager ready as a backup.
  • Candles pose a fire risk, and you should avoid using them. If you must use candles, keep them away from drapes, lampshades and small children. Do not leave candles unattended.
  • Freeze plastic containers filled with water to make blocks of ice that can be placed in your refrigerator/freezer during an outage to prevent foods from spoiling. Blue Ice from your picnic cooler also works well in the freezer.
  • If you have a stand-by generator, make sure that it’s installed safely and inform PG&E to avoid risking damage to your property and endangering PG&E workers. Information on the safe installation of generators can be found on our website at www.pge.com/ HYPERLINK "http://www.pge.com/generator/" generator.
  • If your power goes out, unplug or turn off all 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.
  • Treat all downed power lines as if they are “live” or energized. Keep yourself and others away from them and immediately call 911 then notify PG&E at 1-800-743-5000.

Before calling PG&E about a power outage:

  • Check to see if other neighbors are affected. This would confirm if an outage has occurred in just your residence or within the neighborhood area.
  • If only your residence is without power, check circuit breakers and/or fuse boxes to see if the problem is limited to the home electric system.
  • After performing the steps above, report your outage to: PG&E's 24-Hour Emergency and Customer Service Line 1-800-743-5000.
  • Our phone lines may become very busy during major storms, so we ask for your patience if you are trying to reach us.

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