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Are You Prepared for the Pending Storm?
With a major storm now heading toward Northern and Central California, PG&E is reminding customers that power outages may occur this week due to significant rainfall, potential flooding and high winds. PG&E is implementing its emergency preparedness plans and utilizing advanced technology to be ready to restore service to impacted customers safely and as quickly as possible.
“With storms bearing down on our region, we want our customers to know that PG&E has a plan, is mobilizing resources and will work around the clock to restore service to customers,” said Geisha Williams, executive vice president of Electric Operations. “Likewise, we encourage our customers to have a personal or family preparedness plan in place and – above all else – stay safe as winter weather arrives in our area.”
PG&E crews are prepared and ready to respond to power outages as soon as weather conditions permit the safe restoration of power. The utility is also pre-positioning contract power restoration and vegetation management crews.
PG&E routinely practices its preparedness and response to storms and other emergencies through company exercises and through drills with local first responders. The company also utilizes the latest technology to restore power more quickly and efficiently after a storm. This includes the use of storm outage prediction models, the installation of automated equipment that “self-heals” the electric grid as well as timely and accurate outage data from its network of more than 4.5 million electric SmartMeters™.
PG&E urges customers to stay safe during storms and remember the following safety tips:
- Always treat low hanging and downed power lines as if they are energized and extremely dangerous. Keep yourself and others away from them. Be aware that trees, pools of water and other objects that may be in contact with power lines. If you see damaged power lines or electrical equipment, call 911 immediately and then notify PG&E at 1-800-743-5002.
- During a power outage, use battery-operated flashlights, and not candles, due to the risk of fire. If you must use candles, please keep them away from drapes, lampshades, holiday trees and small children. Do not leave candles unattended.
- Customers with generators should make sure they are properly installed by a licensed electrician in a well-ventilated area. Improperly installed generators pose a significant danger to crews working on power lines.
- If you experience an outage, unplug or turn off all electrical appliances to avoid overloading circuits and to prevent fire hazards when power is restored. Simply leave a single lamp on to alert you when power returns. Turn your appliances back on one at a time when conditions return to normal.
Safety starts before you drive, and your goal should be to see and be seen. Replace windshield wiper inserts that leave streaks or don’t clear the glass in a single swipe. Make sure all headlights, taillights, brake lights and turn signals are properly functioning so other drivers will see you during downpours. Turn on your headlights whenever you drive.
Proper tire tread depth and inflation are imperative to maintaining good traction on wet roadways. Check tread depth with a quarter inserted upside down into the tire groove. If you can see above Washington’s head, start shopping for new tires. Check each tire’s pressure, including the spare, at least once a month… and be sure to check the pressure when the tires are coHere are some tips you’ll want to follow the next time you’re caught driving in the rain.
Avoid Cruise Control
Most modern cars feature cruise control. This feature works great in dry conditions, but when used in wet conditions, the chance of losing control of the vehicle can increase. To prevent loss of traction, the driver may need to reduce the car’s speed by lifting off the accelerator, which cannot be accomplished when cruise control is engaged.
When driving in wet-weather conditions, it is important to concentrate fully on every aspect of driving. Avoiding cruise control will allow the driver more options to choose from when responding to a potential loss-of-traction situation, thus maximizing your safety.
Slow Down and Leave Room
Slowing down during wet weather driving can be critical to reducing a car’s chance of hydroplaning, when the tires rise up on a film of water. With as little as 1/12 inch of water on the road, tires have to displace a gallon of water per second to keep the rubber meeting the road. Drivers should reduce their speed to correspond to the amount of water on the roadway. At speeds as low as 35 mph, new tires can still lose some contact with the roadway.
To reduce chances of hydroplaning, drivers should slow down, avoid hard braking or turning sharply and drive in the tracks of the vehicle ahead of you. Also, it’s important for motorists to allow ample stopping distance between cars by increasing the following distance of the vehicle in front of them and beginning to slow down to stop for intersections, turns and other traffic early.
Responding to a Skid
Even careful drivers can experience skids. If a driver feels their car begin to skid, it’s important to not panic and follow these basic steps:
- Continue to look and steer in the direction in which the driver wants the car to go.
- Avoid slamming on the brakes as this will further upset the vehicle’s balance and make it harder to control.
- If you feel the car begin to skid, continue to look and steer in the direction you want the car to go. Don’t panic, and avoid slamming on the brakes to maintain control.
Overall you want to be extra cautious in wet weather. Slow down, avoid hard braking or turning sharply and allow ample stopping distance between you and the cars in front of you.
This entry was posted on Wednesday, December 10th, 2014 at 10:32 am and is filed under City Manager, City of Watsonville, Homepage News, Public Works . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.