Safety Tips for High Wind Conditions
Strong Southern California wind patterns may produce Red Flag Warnings and High Wind Watches. These winds can topple trees, damage electrical equipment and cause power outages. When winds are in the forecast, planning and preparing are essential. Follow these tips to ensure that you and your loved ones are safe, and your home or business is ready when powerful gusts hit Southern California.
- Check emergency supplies to ensure you have a battery-operated radio, a flashlight and fresh batteries.
- Secure any temporary structures in your backyard or business, including backyard furniture and tents, as well as patio equipment and covers used in commercial settings.
- If you see a downed power line, do not touch it or anything in contact with it. Call 911 immediately.
- Never try to remove a broken tree limb or branch that has come in contact with a power line.
- Power outages in the area may impact traffic signals, so motorists should use extreme caution and treat all intersections as four-way stops during an outage.
- If you are in a vehicle with a fallen power line on it, remain calm and stay inside until help arrives. It is okay to use your cellphone to call 911. If you must leave the vehicle, remember to exit away from downed power lines and exit by jumping and landing with both feet together. Do not touch the vehicle and the ground at the same time. Proceed away from the vehicle by shuffling and not picking up your feet until you are several yards away.
- Use flashlights instead of candles to avoid fire hazards in your home or business.
- If you use a generator, place it outdoors and plug individual appliances directly into it, using a heavy-duty extension cord. Connecting generators directly to household circuits creates a “backfeed,” which is dangerous to repair crews. Please consult the manufacturer’s manual for operating the generator.
- Do not use any equipment inside that is designed for outdoor heating or cooking. Such equipment can emit carbon monoxide and other toxic gases.