Storm & Outage Frequently Asked Questions

When is it safe to approach a power line on the ground, and is it okay to drive over these lines?

It’s never safe to approach a power line that is on the ground! (This is often called a “downed” power line.) Approaching downed power lines can be fatal. You don’t even have to touch a downed line to be electrocuted. Electricity always wants to go to the ground and can reach you through the ground if you get close enough to a downed live wire. Stay at least 30 feet away from any downed line. Call the your local power company immediately, to report the location of any downed line. If the downed line is life-threatening (for example, sparking or on top of an occupied car), call 911.

Some people think it’s okay to drive across downed lines, believing that the rubber in the car tires will protect them. While that is true to some extent as long as you stay inside the car, the greater danger is that the downed wire can become entangled in the car’s axle or wheels. This could cause you to pull down the pole or could prevent you from being able to drive any further. Bottom line: do not drive over downed power lines unless it is a last resort.

Why is my power out but my neighbor still has electricity?

This could be a result of one of the following reasons:

Your home may be served off a different distribution circuit than your neighbor’s home. If this is the case, the circuit serving your neighbor’s home is working as it should, while the circuit serving your home has sustained an outage. This process is similar to when you have a breaker trip or blown fuse at home. The home’s circuit that has the blown fuse or switch will be without power, while the rest of your home will still have power since it is being served by another circuit(s).

Your home may have damage to your overhead service. Sometimes during storms there can be damage to your weatherhead (roof-mounted pole structure) where the electric service comes into the house. Your weatherhead belongs to you, so if it is damaged and in need of repair, it is your responsibility to get a licensed electrician to fix it before the PUD can legally restore power. Once necessary repairs are completed, the power company will send a serviceman to make permanent connections and restore power.

The transformer serving your home may be out of service following an outage restoration if too much electrical load is placed on the transformer when power is restored. When power is restored by the power company after a storm, electrical appliances and heat in homes also start up. When this occurs all at once, service lines and transformers serving individual houses can become overloaded and can cause an outage. It is important for customers to remember to turn off electric stoves and burners, as well as other electrical devices that can be dangerous if unattended when the power is restored. In fact, turn off as much electrical load potential as possible, just keeping a light bulb or two on to let you know when power is back. This ensures your transformer and the electrical lines serving your neighborhood won’t become overloaded and cause a second outage when power is restore.

Why aren’t more details available about outages and when power will be restored?

In general, the power company cannot list specific addresses that are without power, since outages are often widespread throughout. Plus, with ongoing restoration efforts, the location of outages changes very quickly. It is very difficult for the utility to predict how long a specific customer will be without power, due to the sheer number of jobs that need to be completed, changing weather conditions, availability of crews and repair supplies, and a number of other factors. Adding to that, trees that have fallen on power lines or brush that limits access to restoration sites may need to be cleared before repair work can begin. This can often be an all-day job. Often, crews may not be able to estimate how long a job may take until they arrive at the site to begin clearing it for the work.

 

Do emergency safety issues impact storm restoration? What if I have a wire down on my property? Will a crew respond faster?

The power company gives high priority to emergency situations such as a life in danger. In cases when wires are down, are visibly burning, or are part of a higher voltage primary line, the repairs will receive higher priority. In cases when service lines (going directly to a home) are down on a resident’s property, the power company will make the repair as soon as possible after main or primary lines are restored.

How should customers with medical conditions prepare for potential power outages?

Customers with a medical condition that requires uninterrupted electric service should make plans to assure their safety in the event of a power outage. They should consider acquiring a source of standby power or determine if an emergency generator is available. They may want to make arrangements with friends, relatives or a local agency to transport them to an area where electricity is available. While the PUD strives to provide continuous electric service to customers, it cannot guarantee that occasional power outages or failures occur. During winter months the likelihood of power outages increases due to seasonal storms.

Should I unplug sensitive electronic equipment during a power outage?

Yes. These types of electronics do not handle power surges well, and the return of power after an outage may entail a brief surge of power. In fact, during a power outage, you should also turn off any electric item that was on before the outage except for one light so you know when power is restored. Not only does this protect your appliances, it eases the electrical demand when power is restored.

What types of things should customers keep in their homes in case the power goes out?

Everyone should be prepared for all types of scenarios. Having a good emergency kit available everywhere you spend time. Power outages can last anywhere from a few seconds to weeks. Having enough candles, light sticks and even a generator are essential.

 

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Today in Disaster History

Today in
Disaster History
1972 – In Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Canary Islands, 155 people were killed when a Spantax flight crashed.

1979 – At Cincinnati’s Riverfront Coliseum eleven Who fans were trampled to death in the rush to gain admittance for general (unreserved) seats to the band’s concert.

1984 – In Bhopal, India, more than 2,000 people died and about 150,000 were injured when toxic gas (methyl isocyanate) escaped from a Union Carbide insecticide plant.

1999 – In Worcester, Massachusetts, six firefighters were killed while fighting a fire at a warehouse. The fire had been accidentally set by a homeless couple.

 

Looking for a great survival kit? Check out this 2 Person Perfect Survival Kit

Today in Disaster History March 15, 2018

Posted by on 3/15/2018 to News
 1974 – In Tehran, Iran, 15 people were killed when a Sterling Airways flight caught fire after the right main landing gear collapsed while preparing to takeoff. Eighty-one people survived the incident.
1999 – In Bourbonnais, IL, a passenger train collided with a truck at a railway crossing. Eleven people were killed and over 100 were injured.

2001 – Off Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, a series of explosions on an offshore oil rig killed 11 people.

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Nuclear Explosion Preparedness

A nuclear blast is an explosion with intense light and heat, a damaging pressure wave, and widespread radioactive material that can contaminate the air, water, and ground surfaces for miles around. A nuclear device can range from a weapon carried by an intercontinental missile, to a small portable nuclear device transported by an individual. All nuclear devices cause deadly effects when exploded. 

 

The likeliness of an intercontinental missile striking the United States is slim, while the possibility of a portable nuclear device being smuggled into the country is not so far-fetched. Let’s face it, the ware bouts of all the nuclear devices is not clear.  Rouge nations are trying to obtain such a device, many terrorists too would like to have a “bomb” in their possession.  

 

The CDC said its briefing, which is scheduled for the afternoon of Jan. 16, will address “planning and preparation efforts” for such a strike. The agency said most people “don’t realize that sheltering in place for at least 24 hours is crucial to saving lives and reducing exposure to radiation.” 

 

This comes on the heal of President Trump and North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un have been engaged in an escalating battle of threats and taunts over their respective nuclear arsenals. A defiant Pyongyang has made major advances to its nuclear program over the past year, and has directly threatened Americans. Trump has responded by saying the U.S. would “totally destroy” the hermit kingdom, a nation of 25 million people, if provoked. It has become a war of male ego when Trump stated “his button was bigger”. 

 

In the event of an actual nuclear war, “there would be survivors for days trying to make their way out of the rubble and back home, dying of radiation poisoning,” Jeffrey Lewis, a nuclear policy expert at Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey, previously told HuffPost.  

 

Hazards of Nuclear Devices 

The danger of a massive strategic nuclear attack on the United States is predicted by experts to be less likely today. However, terrorism, by nature, is unpredictable. 

In general, potential targets include 

  • Strategic missile sites and military bases. 
  • Centers of government such as Washington, DC, and state capitals. 
  • Important transportation and communication centers. 
  • Manufacturing, industrial, technology, and financial centers. 
  • Petroleum refineries, electrical power plants, and chemical plants. 
  • Major ports and airfields. 

The three factors for protecting oneself from radiation and fallout are distance, shielding and time. 

  • Distance – the more distance between you and the fallout particles, the better. An underground area such as a home or office building basement offers more protection than the first floor of a building. Shielding – the heavier and denser the materials – thick walls, concrete, bricks, books and earth – between you and the fallout particles, the better. 
  • Time – fallout radiation loses its intensity fairly rapidly. In time, you will be able to leave the fallout shelter. Radioactive fallout poses the greatest threat to people during the first two weeks, by which time it has declined to about 1 percent of its initial radiation level. 

Taking shelter during a nuclear blast is absolutely necessary. There are two kinds of shelters: 

  • Blast shelters are specifically constructed to offer some protection against blast pressure, initial radiation, heat and fire. But even a blast shelter cannot withstand a direct hit from a nuclear explosion. 
  • Fallout shelters do not need to be specially constructed for protecting against fallout. They can be any protected space, provided that the walls and roof are thick and dense enough to absorb the radiation given off by fallout particles. 

Remember that any protection, however temporary, is better than none at all, and the more shielding, distance and time you can take advantage of, the better. 

Before a Nuclear Blast 

The following are things you can do to protect yourself, your family and your property in the event of a nuclear blast. 

  • Build an Emergency Supply Kit 
  • Make a Family Emergency Plan. 
  • Find out from officials if any public buildings in your community have been designated as fallout shelters. 
  • If your community has no designated fallout shelters, make a list of potential shelters near your home, workplace and school, such as basements, subways, tunnels, or the windowless center area of middle floors in a high-rise building. 
  • During periods of heightened threat increase your disaster supplies to be adequate for up to two weeks. 

During a Nuclear Blast 

The following are guidelines for what to do in the event of a nuclear explosion. 

  • Listen for official information and follow the instructions provided by emergency response personnel. 
  • If an attack warning is issued, take cover as quickly as you can, below ground if possible, and stay there until instructed to do otherwise. 
  • Find the nearest building, preferably built of brick or concrete, and go inside to avoid any radioactive material outside. 
  • If better shelter, such as a multi-story building or basement can be reached within a few minutes, go there immediately. 
  • Go as far below ground as possible or in the center of a tall building. 
  • During the time with the highest radiation levels it is safest to stay inside, sheltered away from the radioactive material outside. 
  • Radiation levels are extremely dangerous after a nuclear detonation but the levels reduce rapidly. 
  • Expect to stay inside for at least 24 hours unless told otherwise by authorities. 
  • When evacuating is in your best interest, you will be instructed to do so. All available methods of communication will be used to provide news and / or instructions. 

If you are caught outside and unable to get inside immediately: 

  • Do not look at the flash or fireball – it can blind you. 
  • Take cover behind anything that might offer protection. 
  • Lie flat on the ground and cover your head. If the explosion is some distance away, it could take 30 seconds or more for the blast wave to hit. 
  • Take shelter as soon as you can, even if you are many miles from ground zero where the attack occurred – radioactive fallout can be carried by the winds for hundreds of miles. 
  • If you were outside during or after the blast, get clean as soon as possible, to remove radioactive material that may have settled on your body. 
  • Remove your clothing to keep radioactive material from spreading. Removing the outer layer of clothing can remove up to 90% of radioactive material. 
  • If practical, place your contaminated clothing in a plastic bag and seal or tie the bag. Place the bag as far away as possible from humans and animals so that the radiation it gives off does not affect others. 
  • When possible, take a shower with lots of soap and water to help remove radioactive contamination. Do not scrub or scratch the skin. 
  • Wash your hair with shampoo or soap and water. Do not use conditioner in your hair because it will bind radioactive material to your hair, keeping it from rinsing out easily. 
  • Gently blow your nose and wipe your eyelids and eyelashes with a clean wet cloth. Gently wipe your ears. 
  • If you cannot shower, use a wipe or clean wet cloth to wipe your skin that was not covered by clothing. 

After a Nuclear Blast 

People in most of the areas that would be affected could be allowed to come out of shelter within a few days and, if necessary, evacuate to unaffected areas. The heaviest fallout would be limited to the area at or downwind from the explosion. It might be necessary for those in the areas with highest radiation levels to shelter for up to a month. 

Returning to Your Home 

Remember the following when returning home: 

  • Keep listening to the radio and television for news about what to do, where to go and places to avoid. 
  • Stay away from damaged areas. Stay away from areas marked “radiation hazard” or “HAZMAT.” 

 

 

 

Keeping Food Safe During an Emergency

Posted by emprep.com on 4/7/2017 to Preparedness Tips

Did you know that a flood, fire, national disaster, or the loss of power from high winds, snow, or ice could jeopardize the safety of your food? Knowing how to determine if food is safe and how to keep food safe will help minimize the potential loss of food and reduce the risk of food-borne illness.

Always keep meat, poultry, fish, and eggs refrigerated at or below 40 ºF and frozen food at or below
0 ºF.  This may be difficult when the power is out. Keep the refrigerator and freezer doors closed as much as possible to maintain the cold temperature. The refrigerator will keep food safely cold for about 4 hours if it is unopened. A full freezer will hold the temperature for approximately 48 hours (24 hours if it is half-full) if the door remains closed. Obtain dry or block ice to keep your refrigerator as cold as possible if the power is going to be out for a prolonged period of time. Fifty pounds of dry ice should hold an 18-cubic foot full freezer for 2 days.

Plan ahead and know where dry ice and block ice can be purchased. Having items on hand that don’t require refrigeration and can be eaten cold or heated on the outdoor grill. Shelf-stable food, boxed or canned milk, water, and canned goods should be part of a planned emergency food supply. Make sure you have ready-to-use baby formula for infants and pet food. Remember to use these items and replace them from time to time. Be sure to keep a hand-held can opener for an emergency.

Consider what you can do ahead of time to store your food safely in an emergency. If you live in a location that could be affected by a flood, plan your food storage on shelves that will be safely out of the way of contaminated water. Coolers are a great help for keeping food cold if the power will be out for more than 4 hours-have a couple on hand along with frozen gel packs. When your freezer is not full, keep items close together-this helps the food stay cold longer.

Digital, dial, or instant-read food thermometers and appliance thermometers will help you know if the food is at safe temperatures. Keep appliance thermometers in the refrigerator and freezer at all times. When the power is out, an appliance thermometer will always indicate the temperature in the refrigerator and freezer no matter how long the power has been out. The refrigerator temperature should be 40 ºF or below; the freezer, 0 ºF or lower. If you’re not sure a particular food is cold enough, take its temperature with a food thermometer.

Do not eat any food that may have come into contact with flood water. Discard any food that is not in a waterproof container if there is any chance that it has come into contact with flood water. Food containers that are not waterproof include those with screw-caps, snap lids, pull tops, and crimped caps. Also, discard cardboard juice/milk/baby formula boxes and home canned foods if they have come in contact with flood water, because they cannot be effectively cleaned and sanitized. Inspect canned foods and discard any food in damaged cans. Can damage is shown by swelling, leakage, punctures, holes, fractures, extensive deep rusting, or crushing/denting severe enough to prevent normal stacking or opening with a manual, wheel-type can opener.

At www.EmPrep.com we have expanded our line of emergency food. We now have several brands of shelf stable dehydrated food that is easy to store, easy to carry and easy to make. During and after a disaster having enough food and water is essential. Having food that is nutritious is also key to you survival.  Emergency food supplements your normal household supplies and is available to take with you if you must evacuate.

 

Potable Aqua Water Tablets 50 Per Bottle

Potable Aqua Water Tablets 50 Per Bottle

Your Price: $9.95
Retail Price:$11.95
You Save:$2.00(17%)
In Stock.
Part Number:BWater9017
aquapure
 

Proven effective against Giardia Lamblia when used as directed and ideal for camping, hiking and travel. UPC: 368093003019 – Potable Aqua Water Treatment Tablets – 50 Ea – Proven effective against Giardia Lamblia when used as directed and ideal for camping, hiking and travel. – MANUFACTURER: Wisconsin Pharmacal
Potable Aqua Water Treatment Tablets
When drinking water is of questionable quality, use Potable Aqua Germicidal Tablets to make most water bacteriologically suitable for drinking. Confidently trusted by those who have to know – militaries, relief organizations, and campers everywhere. Safe, Drinkable water … Anytime. Anywhere.
Iodine tablets designed to make contaminated water suitable for drinking
Tablets prove effective against Giardia lamblia when used as directed
Intended for short-term or limited emergency use only
Water is ready within 30 minutes; neutralizes iodine aftertaste and color
Ideal for campers, travelers, hikers, militaries, and emergency organizations
Used worldwide by campers, hikers, militaries, emergency organizations, and anyone else who needs to drink water of questionable quality, these Portable Aqua iodine tablets will disinfect contaminated drinking water in a pinch. The tablets -which are intended for short-term or limited emergency use only – make most water bacteriologically suitable for drinking, proving effective against Giardia lamblia when used as directed. Each Potable Aqua tablet contains 20 mg of Tetraglycine Hydroperiodide (TGHP), which liberates 8 mg of titratable iodine when released into water. Within 30 minutes, the iodine will have penetrated the cell walls of the microorganisms, rendering them inactive and making the water safe to drink. Potable Aqua tablets also neutralize the iodine aftertaste and color, helping your drinking water taste better.