Being prepared for Bay Area wind storm

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(KTSF by Jessie Liang)

San Francisco, CA – A strong wind storm is in the forecast for the Bay Area over the next two days. The winds are expected to be 40 to 45 miles per hour (mph) with gusts up to 60 to 70 mph. Since the winter storm season is coming, PG&E has begun to prepare for such storms and minimize power outages. PG&E workers are trimming unhealthy tree limbs that overhang power lines.

The spokeswoman for PG&E Tamar Sarkissian says, “These limbs are overhanging over lines that may be weak or dying. We want to make sure to get rid of these limbs before the storm.”

If people see the fallen power lines, what should they do to stay safe? PG&E spokeswoman Fiona Chan says, “Assume it is “live” or carrying electric current. Do not touch or try to move it and keep children and animals away. Report downed power lines immediately by calling 911.”

If you see a downed power line that’s blocked the street and stopped you from driving, PG&E suggests the best thing to do is to call 911 or contact PG&E at 800-743-5002. If you really need to leave your car, make sure that you won’t get an electric shock. “Your car, you and the ground won’t be connected at the same time. Otherwise, you would get an electric shock,” said Chan.

If your power goes out, here are some safety tips.

‧Do not use candles because of the risk of fire. If you must use candles, use extreme caution. Do not use candles near drapes, under lampshades or near holiday trees. Keep candles away from small children and do not leave candles unattended.
‧Turn off or unplug all electric appliances; otherwise, several appliances may come back on at once and overload your circuits when power is restored. Hot appliances also pose a fire hazard if they come back on while you’re away or asleep.
‧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.
‧Have battery-operated flashlights with fresh batteries on hand.
‧Have battery-operated radios with fresh batteries ready for updates on storm conditions and power outages.

(Copyright 2011 KTSF.  All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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