News for those who live, work and play in the Santiam Canyon

Tips on preparations for safety-related power outages

Regional utility companies are offering tips to consumers, businesses and property owners about how to cope with power outages and related wildfires.

The program, a joint effort of Portland General Electric, Pacific Power and Idaho Power, was organized as part of National Wildfire Awareness Month. Fire-weather conditions, such as severe drought combined with summer windstorms or active wildfires, can lead to safety-related power outages.

Resources are available to help Oregonians get ready for wildfire season. At wildfire.oregon.gov, Oregonians can find tips on everything from staying informed about wildfire and wildfire-related outages to making a plan for evacuations to establishing defensible spaces that help slow the spread of wildfire. 

Here are some tips:

Stay in the know

• Contact your electric provider or log in to your account and make sure all contact information is current so you can receive alerts and messages.  

• If you rely on electricity to store medication or operate medical equipment, enroll in your electric provider’s medical certificate program, if available, to receive communications about outages. Make a backup plan with your doctor and other medical providers.

• Visit Oregon Alert to find your local alert system. Provide current contact details and sign up for wildfire alerts.

Make an outage kit

• Prepare supplies to use in case a wildfire leads to a power outage. Be sure to include shelf-stable food, water for people, pets and livestock, medications, flashlights, batteries and solar or car chargers for electric devices. Keep ice packs or frozen water in the freezer to help keep food cold until ice is available.

• Businesses should prepare to minimize disruption, keep employees safe and protect equipment. Outage kits should include flashlights or camp lights for all areas, including restrooms, battery-powered or hand-crank radios for information, battery-powered fans, extra batteries, car chargers for cell phones and electric devices, bottled water and emergency phone numbers.

Have a plan

• Consider options to relocate with a friend, family member or shelter, especially if medication or treatment of a medical condition requires electricity.

• Businesses should communicate their outage-response plans to key employees, plan for workarounds to computers and cash registers and make a plan to bypass electronic door locks.

• Residents and businesses should consider buying backup generators. Information on how to operate them safely is available from each of the electric providers.

• Make a plan for watering livestock if well pumps are without power.

• Know how to open and close electric garage doors and security gates.

• Learn how to protect home and business electronics and appliances against data loss and surge damage when power is restored.

For further information 

PGE customers can visit portlandgeneral.com/wildfire for information, including its 2023 wildfire mitigation plan for information, checklists and additional resources.

• Pacific Power customers can visit pacificpower.net/wildfiresafety for resources and information including an outage preparation checklist for residential and business customers, an interactive map outlining potential public safety power shutoff areas and its 2023 wildfire mitigation plan.

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