Press-Republican

October 31, 2013

High winds expected tonight and Friday


Press-Republican

---- — PLATTSBURGH — Extreme winds were expected Halloween night and into today, and power companies are advising customers to be prepared in case of outages.

The forecast across Upstate New York calls for possible heavy rain and very strong gusts of wind, according to press releases from National Grid and New York State Electric and Gas, moving from west to east starting late Thursday.

“To prepare, the company is marshaling its in-house and contractor crews for deployment to key areas of its service territory and has readied equipment in the event of weather severe enough to cause power outages,” National Grid said.

Here are some tips from the power companies on preparing for possible outages.

▶ Have at least one telephone that does not require electricity.

▶ Keep a supply of non-perishable food and bottled water on hand.

▶ Make sure cellphone batteries are fully charged.

▶ Have a number of working flashlights at hand along with extra batteries and at least one battery-operated radio.

▶ Check on elderly family members, neighbors and others who may need assistance during an outage period.

▶ People who depend on electric-powered life support equipment, such as a respirator, should let the power company know. To register as a National Grid life support customer, call (800) 642-4272. For NYSEG, call (800) 572-1111.

▶ Consider any downed wire to be live and dangerous. Stay clear of fallen lines, broken poles or trees touching wires, and report them to the power company as soon as possible.

▶ Only hook up generators outside to avoid deadly carbon monoxide. Open windows don’t provide enough ventilation to make them safe inside. Make sure to shut off the main breaker in the electric service panel before starting up the generator.

▶ Turn off major appliances (electric water heaters, refrigerators and freezers) and sensitive electronic equipment (TVs, VCRs, DVD players, computers, audio equipment) to prevent overloading and possible damage when power is restored. 

▶ Don’t use a natural gas or propane range to heat your home.

▶ Never use outdoor grills or stoves inside.

▶ Keep refrigerators and freezers closed as much as possible. Most food will last 24 hours if you minimize the opening of refrigerator and freezer doors.

▶ During a power interruption, contact neighbors to see if their power is off. Your power interruption might be due to a blown fuse or a tripped circuit breaker.

After power comes back on:

▶ Turn on appliances and sensitive electronic equipment one at a time to avoid overloading circuits.

▶ Replenish emergency supplies used during the storm.

Report outages to NYSEG at (800) 572.1131 or, if you have access to the Internet, at nyseg.com.

Reach National Grid at (800) 867-5222.