Happy Camp Snowstorm Loses Electricity a week!

Thanks Debbie Hixon family of Klamath River who helped so greatly, food and wood and other ways to help and support out community during the recent snow deluge and electrical outages for over a week in some places.

Winter weather always has the potential to knock out power. If an outage occurs, Pacific Powers crews are ready to go to work to get the lights on –Recent events brought a new level of awareness to many — that being prepared is not so much a crazy survivalist notion as a common-sense necessity.

Have an emergency kit on hand, and build lists or social networks to communicate with family and important contacts. Start by discussing together what could happen and what you should do at home, at school or at work if an emergency happens. To be prepared, make a list of what needs to be done ahead of time. Store important family documents, such as birth certificates, passports, wills, financial documents, insurance policies, etc. in waterproof container(s). Identify an appropriate out-of-town contact that can act as a central point of contact in an emergency Write down and exercise your plan with the entire family at least once a year. Make sure everybody has a copy and keeps it close at hand.

If your power goes out, check your circuit breakers or fuse box first to make sure the problem is not inside your home. If not, then call Pacufuc Power at 1-877-508-5088 – the automated system will give you the cause of the outage if it’s known, and an estimated time when power will be restored.

You may have some of the items already, for an emergency kit on hand, such as a flashlight, battery-operated radio, food, and water. The key is to make sure they are organized and easy to find. Would you be able to find your flashlight in the dark? Make sure your kit is easy to carry. Keep it in a backpack, duffel bag or suitcase with wheels, in an easy-to-reach, accessible place, such as your front hall closet. Make sure everyone in the household knows where the emergency kit is.

Don’t forget to have water on hand – at least two liters of water per person per day. Include small bottles that can be carried easily in case of an evacuation order Have on hand food that won’t spoil, such as canned food, energy bars and dried foods (remember to replace the food and water once a year) If the food is canned don’t forget a manual can opener You’ll also need a wind-up or battery-powered flashlight and wind-up or battery-powered radio with extra batteries for each. First aid kit is always good to have on hand, and especially valuable in an emergency. Some Special items such as prescription medications, infant formula and equipment for people with disabilities will be needed depending on the needs of your family. Extra keys to your car and house as well as cash in smaller bills, such as $10 bills (travellers cheques are also useful) and change for payphones may be needed. A copy of your emergency plan and contact information should be on hand. You may want to ensure you have a land-line and corded phone in your home, as most cordless phones will not work during a power outage.

Other things to have for emergency use are candles and matches or lighter (Do not leave candles unattended. Place candles in sturdy containers and put them out before going to sleep) A change of clothing and footwear for each household member as well as a sleeping bag or warm blanket for each household member. A whistle would be handy in case you need to attract attention. Garbage bags for personal sanitation toilet paper and other personal care supplies. Basic tools (hammer, pliers, wrench, screwdrivers, fasteners, safety gloves should be easily accessible. A small fuel-driven stove and fuel which you should know how to use and store properly.

If the emergency goes longer, you may need two extra liters of water per person per day for cooking and cleaning. A whistle to signal for help. If you’re in the dark for long and have to keep the kids from fighting, this could also serve as your referee whistle. Plastic sheeting along with duct tape and a dust mask may be handy.. Personal sanitation items like wet wipes or moist toilette’s, garbage bags, plastic ties, and toilet paper. A wrench or pliers for turning off utilities. Maps of your city or local area. Don’t forget to think about your pets (more water as well as food for them), people with special dietary needs and anyone requiring medication such as insulin. Make sure you have supplies handy.

Of course you may have items particular to your own situation. During the recent snowstorm when electricity was out, some people who get water from pumps had no water. Fortunately there was plenty of good clean snow to melt if they had a way to heat if up. Others didn’t have to rely on snow as the water system kept them in water, but if the water heater was electric, a shower was a mighty chilly experience!

Communication is vital in an emergency. In the recent snowstorm, some people were within a block of the warming station set up at the Karuk Council Building, but they couldn’t get the car out of the drive, let alone off the Hillside Road that hadn’t been plowed and had no idea that they were so close to help. They called CalTrans, but Hillside is under County Jurisdiction so they got no help that way. Who to call, what agendcy might be setting up emergency shelter, meals and housing? Messages left at the Family Resource Center were answered later and they kept the warning station open. Do you need a way to charge your cell phone? Perhaps a car charger? Do you want or need computer backup so you can communicate with e-mails or get updates on weather or warnings? What else would you personally find helpful to have in an emergency or for keeping your family comfortable for the duration of an electrical outage?

The key to surviving any crisis is planning and your emergency plan is important for his reason. It is said that 9 out of ten times when an emergency occurs, the majority of people either freeze (as in take no action as they are in shock) or panic and neither is a good response to an emergency. Those that have an emergency plan are well on their way to surviving in an emergency situation, as they don’t have to waste time trying to figure out where everything is that they will need to keep their family taken care of during the incident.

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