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With Big Storms Coming, Here Are 8 Ways to Stay Safe



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They’re getting closer. A series of storms expected to bring rain and gusty wind to the Valley floor and snow to the southern Sierra is on a path to arrive late Wednesday and ramp up through Thursday.

Charged-up weather increases the likelihood of fallen limbs, downed power lines and electricity outages. Pacific Gas & Electric offers these eight safety tips:

Never touch downed wires

If you see a downed power line, assume it is energized. Don’t touch it or try to move it — and keep children and animals away. Report downed power lines immediately by calling 911 and by calling PG&E at (800) 743-5002.

Use flashlights, not candles

During an outage, use battery-operated flashlights, not candles, due to the risk of fire. If you must use candles, keep them away from drapes, lampshades and small children. Do not leave candles unattended.

Have a backup phone

Remember that cordless home phones require electricity to work. Have a standard wired telephone or cell phone ready as a backup.

Have fresh drinking water and ice

Freeze plastic containers filled with water to make blocks of ice that can be placed in your refrigerator or freezer during an outage to prevent food from spoiling. Blue Ice from your picnic cooler works well in the freezer.

Secure outdoor furniture

Tie down or store deck furniture, lightweight yard structures and decorative lawn items that could be blown around by high winds and damage overhead power lines or nearby property.

Use generators safely

Customers with standby electric generators should make sure they are installed properly and in a well-ventilated area. Improperly installed generators pose a significant danger to customers, as well as crews working on power lines.

Turn off appliances

If you experience an outage, unplug or turn off all electrical appliances to avoid overloading circuits and to prevent fire hazards when power is restored. Leave a single lamp on to alert you when power returns. Turn your appliances back on one at a time after power returns.

Clean up safely after a storm

Never touch downed wires and always call 811 or visit at least two full business days before digging to have all underground utilities safely marked.