How to prepare for a power outage if SC Edison has to cut electricity to reduce wildfire risk

ByAnabel Munoz and staff KABC logo
Wednesday, October 9, 2019
How to prepare for a power outage
EMBED <>More Videos

As Edison considers cutting power to some 174,000 Southern California customers because of wildfire danger, here are tips to help protect your family and workplace.

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Some 174,000 customers across the Southland face the possibility of power outages if Southern California Edison determines the wildfire danger is too high.

Potentially affected areas include parts of Los Angeles, Riverside, San Bernardino, Orange, Ventura, Inyo, Kern and Mono counties. For a full list of cities that are at risk of losing power, click here.

Edison says if the power goes down, it could stay off for 24 hours or more. Even after the winds die down and fire danger is reduced, utility workers have to patrol and examine the lines before re-energizing them to make sure none came down during the outage.

Here are some tips to help your family prepare for the possibility of losing power for a day or more. For a more detailed list, check Edison's website here.

  • Outage Supply Kit: Gather supplies you think you'll need if the power is out. These include: First-aid kit, bottled water, flashlights and batteries, non-perishable food, manual can opener, coolers and ice chests, special items needed by the elderly, disabled or infants, battery-operated radio, fresh batteries, external rechargeable battery pack, non-cordless phone.
  • Home Preparation Checklist: Keep important phone numbers handy for emergency contacts and relatives. Keep flashlights in convenient locations. Install surge protectors to safeguard electronic equipment. Know where your utility boxes are and how to turn them off. Keep computer files backed up. Keep the gas tank in one car at least half full at all times.
  • Work Preparation Checklist: Know how to override or manually override security gates. Develop a plan for employees' roles in event of an outage. List equipment that should be turned off during an outage to prevent damage. Know the location of your workplace's utility boxes. Identify an off-site location to meet in case evacuation is necessary. If you plan to operate an emergency generator, let Edison know at 1-800-990-7788 to help protect utility workers from possible electrical back feed.
  • Keep your smartphone fully charged.
  • Use an external battery charger that can charge your phone several times. If possible, purchase a more robust battery charger that can charge several devices at a time.
  • Turn your car into an emergency generator by using a power inverter that turns DC current from your vehicle to AC current to power home devices from your car.
  • If you own an electric vehicle, keep it fully charged.
  • Keep plenty of cash on hand since ATM and credit-card machines likely won't work during a power outage.
  • Disconnect your computer and use a surge protector to avoid damage from a power surge when the electricity comes back on.
  • Learn to operate your garage door without electricity. Pull on the red handle that should be dangling from the garage door unit. This will unhinge the door from the rail so that you can manually lift the door. Some doors have a key so they can be opened from the outside during a power outage.
  • Freeze water in plastic containers so that they will keep food cold during a temporary outage. A freezer can keep food safe for 48 hours if the door is unopened. The refrigerator should maintain cool temperatures for about four hours if the door is not opened.
  • Consider your family's medical needs. Store necessary medications and prepare an emergency power source for any medical devices that require electricity.
  • Para obtener información sobre cortes de energía locales debido a razones de seguridad pública, haga clic aquí.

    Cómo prepararse para un corte de luz por riesgo de incendios