Submitted by Puget Sound Energy

Photo credit: Douglas Scott

Winter storm season is quickly approaching, and the national Climate Prediction Center has issued a La Niña Advisory, historically associated with above normal rainfall and below normal temperatures in western Washington. With so many area residents working and learning from home due to COVID-19, Puget Sound Energy is encouraging customers to take steps to prepare their homes and emergency kits now – before disaster strikes.

“Harsh storms and power outages already present many dangers each winter, but disasters aren’t slowing for COVID-19,” said PSE Vice President of Customer Operations and Communications Andy Wappler. “It’s more important than ever to prepare to keep yourself and your family safe during emergencies resulting from storms, wildfires, and other disasters that may cause power outages or interruptions of your energy service.”

In order to keep its communities and employees safe and healthy, PSE crews will follow proper COVID-19 public health guidelines to make sure crews are there for its customers when the power is out. These additional safety precautions in the office and field could lead to longer restoration times. This includes requiring employees to wear face coverings and maintain physical distancing while working in the field.

PSE recommends these five tips to get prepared to weather the storm TOGETHER:

  1. Make an emergency preparedness plan and pack an emergency kit using PSE’s emergency checklist. Consider adding face coverings and hand sanitizer to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in a disaster.
  2. If you already have a plan in place, re-evaluate your household’s evacuation and sheltering plans, ensuring the practice of social distancing.
  3. Ensure you have at least a week’s worth of food and water, and a proper first aid kit for any unforeseen injuries or mishaps.
  4. If you are without power, never use a natural gas range for heating, or charcoal grill as an indoor heating or cooking source.
  5. Always use flashlights instead of candles. If you’re using portable heaters, keep them away from furniture, draperies and other flammable materials.

PSE is committed to delivering safe, reliable energy to customers across the region. During an outage, estimated restoration times will be updated on the outage map at pse.com/outagemap and on the myPSE app. Regular updates and restoration times are posted as they are available. For additional steps you can take to be prepared, visit pse.com/storm.

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