When high winds whip through the area, it can cause problems on the road and at home!
While out on the roads, people need to be on the look out for downed utility poles, wires, and trees as well as random debris while driving. If you see downed utility poles and/or wires or down trees that have become a hazard, call 9-1-1. Be aware of your surroundings while driving aas well as in your home and at work.
If you see a downed wire, DO NOT TOUCH IT. Not with your hands or anything else. Just assume that it is still live, call 9-1-1, and stay away from it. If a wire falls on your car while you are inside it, STAY INSIDE THE CAR. Call 9-1-1 and wait for help to arrive. We will help you safely get out of your vehicle.
High winds can cause power disturbances either through the wind itself or through the downed poles and trees. Sometimes that will mean a little bit of flickering lights and sometimes that will mean a full power outage. Outages can last from a few minutes to even a few days depending on the exact cause and the extent of the damage both locally and in the greater area for larger and more severe storms.
In order to be prepared for a power outage, make sure that your family has extra batteries and flashlights, candles are not recommended during severe weather due to fire hazard. Make sure that you have fresh water and food that does not need to be kept cold or need to be heated in order to eat. A battery operated radio tuned to a local station with news and weather updates can let you know if you need to evacuate your home or the area for any reason. Also make sure that you have plenty of blankets ready to go. DO NOT USE OUTDOOR PROPANE GRILLS/HEATERS INSIDE THE HOME. A spark could set them off or you could pass out and eventually die in your sleep from the fumes. Please find other ways of getting and staying warm.
Maintaining communication is key even when the power is out – here are some tips to help keep your cell phone up and running even after the power is out. Another option for some would be to use a car charger. Be careful not to kill your car battery though! Always unplug your car charger when you are not actively charging your phone. If you are able, limit the time you charge your phone to the time you are on the road anyway.
If your power has been out for more than a few minutes, you might want to report the outage to the power company just to make sure they are aware of the problem. Depending on what has caused the outage, they may not have been alerted yet or they may not realize the extent of the problem. Below is the contact information for Falls City and some of our neighboring communities.
Pacific Power allows you to report outages and receive updates online and over the phone.
-To report an outage online, go here.
-To report an outage over the phone, call 1-877-508-5088.
-To check on outage locations, go here.
Portland General Electric (PGE) makes it easy to report an outage and get updates! You can report online, via a phone call, or even through text!
-To report online, go here.
-To report an outage by phone, call 1-800-544-1795.
-To enroll your cell phone to be eligible for reporting and updates via text, go here.
-To see the outage map, go here.
Make sure you take down the information before you need it! My favorite is to take a screencap and keep it in an emergency folder on my laptop since I always keep it fully charged and at the ready but good old pen and paper works well too!