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Spokane, Wash., December 1// -- With heavy snow in the forecast for our region, the possibility exists for power outages to occur from winter weather conditions and from weather-related automobile accidents. To help you prepare, Avista offers the following tips:
. Have an emergency preparedness kit with a flashlight and fresh batteries, battery-powered radio, battery or wind-up alarm clock, candles and holders, matches and manual can opener.
. Have supplies handy that can help keep you warm, such as:
Hats, gloves or mittens
Reserves of back-up energy sources, such as propane, firewood for wood stoves, wood pellets, etc.
. Have a back-up plan. If your home or neighborhood experiences an extended outage, consider staying with family or friends who have power.
. Assist family members or neighbors who may be vulnerable if exposed to cold temperatures for extended periods.
Report an Outage
If your power goes out, check to see if your neighbors have lost power, too. You may be part of a larger outage area, or your home may be an isolated outage. Always report the outage to Avista at (800) 227-9187. This is the best way to find out more about the outage, and it will also help Avista determine the scope of an outage.
During power outages:
. Turn off and unplug any unnecessary electrical equipment, especially sensitive electronic equipment, even if you have surge protectors.
. Lower the thermostat on heat sources to a minimum.
. Turn on a porch light so repair crews and you will know when power is restored to your home.
. Do not cook indoors with charcoal or other fuels or cook on items not meant for indoor use, such as a grill. They can create deadly fumes if used indoors.
. Listen to your local news using your battery-operated radio for detailed information about the outage.
If you see a downed power line, call Avista at (800) 227-9187 immediately to report its location. Never touch or attempt to remove fallen limbs from downed or sagging power lines. Treat all power lines as if they are energized, or carrying electrical current. Remember to keep all children and pets away from the area.
Other safety steps to keep in mind include:
. Do not cook indoors with charcoal or other fossil fuels on items not meant for indoor use, such as a grill. They can create deadly fumes if used indoors.
. Exercise extreme caution when using lanterns and other combustion heating devices in your home. These devices use fuels such as kerosene, white gas and propane, that require adequate cross-ventilation to reduce the significant risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.
. Do not leave candles or lamps unattended and keep them away from furniture, drapes and other flammable materials.
. Leave a stream of water about the width of a pencil running through faucets that are at risk of exposure to the cold, especially pipes located on outside walls.
. Do not use extension cords strung from house to house. Use of extension cords is a safety hazard and may create additional outages or fire.
Avista Corp. is an energy company involved in the production, transmission and distribution of energy as well as other energy-related businesses. Avista Utilities is a company operating division that provides service to 330,000 electric and 285,000 natural gas customers in three western states. Avista's non-regulated subsidiaries include Avista Advantage (www.avistaadvantage.com) and Avista Energy (www.avistaenergy.com) . Avista Corp.'s stock is traded under the ticker symbol "AVA." For more information about Avista, please visit www.avistacorp.com.
Avista Corp. and the Avista Corp. logo are trademarks of Avista Corporation.
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