As you’ve likely already heard, a wind advisory and red flag warning have Pacific Gas & Electric officials saying they will likely be cutting the power beginning early Wednesday morning (October 9th) to about 650,000 residents as a safety precaution.
This means that a good portion of OhmConnect customers will be without power for up to 48 hours. We want you to be able to focus on what you need to do to take care of your home and family. We will not be having any #OhmHours and are postponing our MEGA Summer Grand Prize celebration accordingly.
As most of the OhmConnect team are PG&E customers ourselves, we understand the frustration this event may cause while being mindful of the devastating impacts that could come from the situation if a wildfire was to start.
For a full list of counties that may be affected, click here.
What does this mean for OhmConnect customers?
Although the outage is unrelated to OhmConnect and #OhmHours, we want to ensure that our customer’s focus is on staying safe with their families during this time. Because of this, we’ve decided to postpone the MEGA Summer Grand Prize Giveaway (which was scheduled for Wednesday, October 9th at 8pm) until Sunday, October 13th at 5PM.
There will be no changes to the qualification period for the draw, simply the date of the announcement has been adjusted.
Ways to prepare and stay safe during a power outage
Although most outages are restored within a couple of hours or days, even the briefest outage will remind us of all the ways that we take electricity for granted.Living without power can be difficult, but there are ways to prepare and ensure yours and your family’s safety.
If you’re facing the possibility of a power outage that may last more than one day, you’ll want to consider some of the less obvious ways that a power outage affects you and what you can do about it:
- Gas pumps won’t work, so make sure to fill your tank up in advance. Your car is a critical part of your survival kit. It’s your emergency transport, your charging system for cell phones and maybe even the only heated space you’ll have. So keep your tank full before storms. If you have gas cans, fill them, too. When the power is out, gas stations can’t pump gas from their tanks into yours.
- Stock up on water. When the power grid goes down, your city water supply may soon follow, says Tompkin Lee, The Family Handyman field editor. So fill up buckets and bottles with water. Fill the bathtub, too. But most drains are not all that tight, and in a few hours all that precious water may be gone. To prevent that, seal the drain with duct tape before you fill the tub. Experts recommend you stockpile one gallon of water per person, per day, for every day you expect not to have power.
- Turn your car into a generator. A power inverter, which turns DC current from your car into AC current for electric gadgets, is the next best thing to a generator when it comes to surviving a blackout. Small units can recharge your computer or phone. Larger ones can power a fridge or power tools.
- Save food with ice. A couple of days without power can cost you a few hundred bucks as food spoils in fridges and freezers. Fill locking freezer bags with water and keep them in the freezer. During a blackout, they’ll help the freezer stay cold longer. Or you can transfer them to the fridge or a cooler. When they thaw, you’ve got drinking water. The food in your refrigerator will be good for about four hours after the power goes out and the food in your freezer will last for about 48 hours, assuming you keep the doors closed as much as possible. You’ll want to have food on hand that doesn’t require a refrigerator or a stove.
- Have a manual can opener on hand. All that canned food won’t do you any good if you only have an electric can opener.
- Keep your pets safe. Pets have to eat and drink during a power outage, too! They also are more likely to escape the home while it’s disrupted, so make sure they are wearing current ID collars and you have a clear and recent picture of them.
- Make medical plans, if necessary. If you have someone in your home that relies on a medical device that uses electricity, you should discuss an emergency plan with their doctor. Should this person go to a hospital or other care facility? When? Where? How will they get there? Or can you buy battery back-ups? Try to think about these things before they happen so you don’t have to make important decisions while under stress.
- Have some cash on hand. ATMs and credit card machines also won’t work, so it’s a good idea to have some cash accessible.
- Don’t wreck your appliances when the power comes back on. When the power grid sputters back to life, it will probably create power surges which can destroy sensitive electronics in TVs, computers, and appliances. So unplug anything that may contain electronic components. Leave one light switched on to let you know when the power is restored. And if you have a generator, check the manual. Most inexpensive models churn out “dirty” power that can harm electronics.