NEWS-LEDGER — JAN 25, 2012
Be prepared for power outages year-round:
· 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 to have a standard telephone handset, cellular telephone or pager ready as a backup.
· Avoid using candles, which pose a fire risk. 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 left 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 your power goes out, unplug or turn off all electric appliances to avoid overloading circuits and creating 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 an outage:
· Check to see if other neighbors are affected. This will confirm if an outage has occurred in just your residence or in the broader neighborhood.
· 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.