Fun times - California winds

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I had posted a link to Cliff Mass talking about the forecast windstorms in California. A reader commented with a link to an excellent checklist for preparedness. From the San Francisco CBS affiliate:

Bay Area Power Outage Survival Guide
We all take the modern convenience of electricity for granted until the lights go out.

And for as many as 250,000 Bay Area residents those light may be going out as early as Wednesday morning. A wind advisory and red flag warning have Pacific Gas & Electric officials considering cutting the power to about 250,000 Bay Area customers as a safety precaution. The utility estimates total of 800,000 customers in Northern and Central California will have their power shut off.

And those outages may last for several days so now is the time to get prepared.

Here are some tips to help you and your family survive a power outage.

    • Sign up for PG&E alerts so you can be quickly informed if a power outage is about to begin in your neighborhood. It is also a good idea to sign up for alerts with your county.
    • On Tuesday evening before going to bed, make sure to have all your electronic devices fully charged.
    • Fill up your gas tank on your way home from work — most gas pumps are electronic and will not work in an outage.
    • Stop by the ATM and withdraw cash — grocery store cash registers are electrically powered.
    • Stock up on seven days of food, water, and flashlights and batteries. If you are still using old incandescent bulbs, this might be a good time to upgrade. LED bulbs last much longer.
    • If you have an automatic garage door opener make sure you know how to disengage it and open the door manually.
    • If you have solar panels, they will not power your house. Only those with a home battery or special converter can get power from their panels.
    • Prepare yourself for slow driving — traffic lights will not be functioning in the neighborhood impacted by the power outage.
    • Be a good neighbor — if you have elderly or infirm neighbors check on their well being
    • If you use a generator — make sure it is at least 20 feet from your home with the engine exhaust directed away from windows and doors.
    • Talk with your building manager if you live or work in a building that has elevators or electronic key card access to understand how they will deal with a possible multi-day outage.
    • Break out your earthquake survival kit to use.

A well thought-out list and a lot more at the site including a list of things to buy now before the stores get wiped out.

This is one situation where an amateur radio license would be a very good thing. Most cell sites have backup power for only three to five days. You can get a decent basic setup for well under $100 and it is an enjoyable hobby as well as a life-saver in an emergency situation. Whenever I travel to a new city, I will have looked up the local frequencies and can call out for driving directions or restaurant recomendations.

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This page contains a single entry by DaveH published on October 8, 2019 7:46 PM.

Downright nippy tonight was the previous entry in this blog.

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