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Huge, looming storm prompts PGE to issue safety tips

Wild weekend of weather anticipated; caution is urged

With a potentially major storm heading toward the metro area this weekend, Portland General Electric is offering some suggestions on how to prepare for the possibility of weather-related outages. The storm could bring snow to the metro area Saturday followed by strong winds and heavy rain Sunday or Monday.

PGE suggests the following:

WHAT TO DO BEFORE THE POWER GOES OUT

Prepare an emergency kit that contains:

-Flashlight

-Extra batteries

- Wind-up or battery-powered alarm clock

- Manual can opener

- Battery-powered radio or TV

- Seventy-two-hour supply of ready-to-eat food and water

Other items to have on hand:

- Extra blankets

- Paper plates and utensils

- Firewood for a fireplace or wood stove

- Matches

- Thermos

- Something to help pass the time, such as books, board games and playing cards

Additional tips:

- If you have a cordless phone, or any phone that requires wall current, it probably won't work during an outage. Consider having an old-fashioned phone on standby. Cell service may also be interrupted.

- If you have an electric garage door opener, know how to operate it manually.

- Protect your home electronics by investing in surge protection equipment. Call PGE's Power Quality Hotline at 800-270-7016 for more information. Outage information and tips also are available at PortlandGeneral.com.

WHAT TO DO IF THE POWER GOES OUT:

- Check your circuit breaker or fuse box. If breakers or fuses are okay, call PGE.

- Report power outages to PGE by calling 503-464-7777 in the Portland area.

- Turn off major appliances that were on prior to the outage, such as your range, clothes washer and dryer, dishwasher, television and radio to reduce the initial demand of electricity when power is restored.

- Leave a light on inside your house and outside, so you and PGE's repair crews know when power is restored. When the power comes back on, turn appliances and lights back on slowly.

- Lend a hand to neighbors or relatives who may need assistance.

- Listen to broadcast news for frequent updates from PGE. Call PGE if your neighbor's power comes back on and yours doesn't. Call if you live in an isolated area, and your power is off for an extended period of time.

- Never touch a downed line or even go near one. Downed power lines may cause serious injuries or death. If you see any downed line, even if you think it may be a telephone wire, call PGE immediately.