Powering through potential power outages | News
Powering through potential power outages | News

Source: NBC RightNow

YAKIMA, Wash, – With Winter Storm Warnings in place for the coming weekend, power outages become a concern for many who could be left stranded in the cold. While there may be no way to prevent an outage outright, there are ways to protect yourself and your home without power.


Mike Castillo, Service Manager for Campbell & Company, says, “there’s really no way to control a power outage once it hits your house.”


Due to the cold weather and factors that come with it, power outages are bound to happen. Accidents, wind and inclement weather can all lead to a loss of power for many homes.


If your home does lose power, the first step is to check with your power company and verify the extent of the outage. There are different protocols that come with a home outage or a local outage.


With a home outage, check the breaker box within the home to first see if a fuse was blown. During the winter, running space heaters and other electronics off of the same circuit can cause blown fuses.


“You don’t want to plug in too many space heaters in one room,” said Castillo. “Usually, your panel is only rated for so much load per circuit. You want to make sure to look at the space heaters you’re plugging in and you’re not plugging in too many to one circuit”


When a city outage takes place, there is typically no estimated time frame for when power will return. It is recommended to call your power company every hour to check on the status of the outage.


During a prolonged outage, unplugging major appliances can protect those devices from surges when power comes back. Castillo says any device with a screen is susceptible to surges and to unplug televisions, computers and anything with a screen.


If you are left without power, having fresh batteries and blankets will help protect from the lack of light and heat. Alternative heat sources need to be properly ventilated to prevent carbon monoxide in the home. 


Generators should be run outside under a patio or overhead covering and away from internal ventilation.