September 3, 2015: September 2015 marks the 12th annual National Preparedness Month and creates an opportunity for Avista to remind customers about the importance of being prepared for unexpected emergencies such as the fires that have hit sections of its Washington and Idaho service area.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency and Department of Homeland Security sponsor this national initiative and use September to remind all Americans to take simple steps to prepare for emergencies at home, school, work and in our communities.
As we have experienced recently in Washington and Idaho, weather events such as summer storms and fires can ravage entire communities with outages lasting for days. Being prepared for severe weather like thunderstorms, wind, ice and snow storms or other natural disasters can help our residents and their families deal with the results of such events.
“We know severe weather can occur anytime and being prepared can be the difference between scrambling for necessities and having the resources to help your own family and others,” said Don Kopczynski, Avista’s vice president of energy delivery.
With the unpredictability of fire, storms and other natural disasters, now is the perfect time to get prepared for events that could lead to a power outage. Here are some guidelines for taking action to prepare:
· Preparing for an outage. Keep emergency supplies on hand, including flashlights, a portable battery-powered radio and clock, water and non-perishable food and a manual can opener. Make sure cell phones and tablets are fully charged and fire alarms have fresh batteries. Know how to manually open and close electric garage doors, security doors and gates.
· During an outage. Report an outage or downed power line to Avista at avistautilities.com or call (800) 227-9187. Assist family members or neighbors who may be vulnerable if exposed to low temperatures. Keep your refrigerator and freezer doors closed to prevent food spoilage.
· After an outage. Wait a few minutes before turning on major electrical appliances to help eliminate problems that could occur if there’s a sharp increase in demand after restoration.
· For more information and tips visit: www.avistautilities.com/safety/outages.
Being prepared for an outage or a natural disaster will allow you to have the resources to take care of your family and assist others if needed. Avista encourages all residents to use the month of September to put their own emergency plan together. Here is a helpful guide to doing just that:
· Week 1: Make a plan to reconnect with family after a disaster
· Week 2: Know how to plan for specific needs before a disaster occurs
· Week 3: Build an emergency kit
· Week 4: Practice for an emergency
About Avista Utilities
Avista Utilities is involved in the production, transmission and distribution of energy. We provide energy services and electricity to 369,000 customers and natural gas to 329,000 customers in a service territory that covers 30,000 square miles in eastern Washington, northern Idaho and parts of southern and eastern Oregon, with a population of 1.6 million. Avista Utilities is an operating division of Avista Corp. (NYSE: AVA). For more information, please visit www.avistautilities.com.
The Avista logo is a trademark of Avista Corporation.
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