4 storm tips power companies want you to know

How to stay safe if you lose power

Don't be surprised if hundreds of thousands of people lose their power Saturday night thanks to the big wind storm. Trees and branches can take out power lines and, in some cases, they get twisted around each other and could take days to repair.

Puget Sound Energy spokesman Andy Wappler answers a few common questions.

Do I need to call to report outages?

It's helpful. You can report outages through the Puget Sound Energy App and on PSE.com website. Or you do it the old fashioned way and call. List of Northwest Utility contact information

Do I need to shut everything off if the power goes out?

It's a good idea. If everything is turned on when the power is restored, it can overload your system and blow a fuse. If the power goes out, shut off everything you can. Turn on one or two lights, so you know your power is back when it's restored.

What's the biggest mistake people make during outages?

Do not use a generator or grill inside. This can be deadly because of carbon monoxide poisoning. Carbon monoxide is odorless and colorless, so you won't know it's affecting you until it's too late. Keep generators and grills outside.

Why aren't more power lines underground?

The main reason is cost. More underground lines equal higher bills for you.

There are also downsides. Flooding can affect the lines. And if a big tree falls, the roots can uproot those underground power lines.

And if an underground power line is damaged, they are hard to find, and it takes a long time to fix.

Copyright 2016 KING


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