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Here's how to prepare for a power outage

High wind warning remains in effect from 2 to 10 p.m. PST on Monday in the Inland Northwest. Here is what you need to know in case power goes out in your area.

SPOKANE, Wash. — The National Weather Service is predicting stronger winds that will cause power outages in the Inland Northwest area Monday. 

A High Wind Warning remains in effect from 2 to 10 p.m. PST on Monday. Southwest winds are expected be between 40 to 50 mph with gusts up to 60 mph in the Spokane, Coeur d'Alene and Pullman areas.

People need to be prepared as damaging winds could blow down trees and power lines, and it could take several days for power to be restored to all residents.

Avista says customers should treat all power lines as if they’re energized. You should stay away from any downed power lines and don’t attempt to remove limbs from downed or sagging power lines. Drivers should also refrain from driving over power lines.

If you see a downed line, call Avista immediately to report the location.

The City of Spokane said if you see a downed tree, you should call 311.

To report any power outages contact your local utility provider:

  • Avista Utilities outage hotline: 1-800-227-9187 or text OUT to 284-782 or report your outage online or through Avista’s mobile device at www.myavista.com/outage.
  • Kootenai Electric Cooperative: 1-877-744-1055 or through Kootenai Electric’s SmartHub app.
  • Inland Power and Light outage hotline phone number 877-668-8243
  • Vera Water and Power outage hotline call 1-888-774-8272
  • Northern Lights in Northern Idaho outage hotline 866-665-4837
  • Pend Oreille Public Utility outage hotline 509-447-3137

To check the areas impacted check the following outage maps:

What to do Before the power goes out

  • Sign up to receive outage alerts from your utility company.
  • Download a news app to receive push updates and news alerts about the weather forecast.
  • Have your cell phone charge.
  • Have a plan for your pets and livestock.
  • If your water supply is dependent on electricity, fill your bathtub with water.
  • Ensure smoke alarm batteries have been changed recently.
  • If you have a medical need that relies on electricity, visit the Food and Drug Administration published Guidance on Home Use Devices, recommendation list. Maintain medical information, a list of emergency contacts, extra oxygen tanks, battery backups and contact information for transportation services.

  • Assemble an emergency storm kit containing flashlights and fresh batteries, battery-powered radio or TV and extra batteries, bottled water, nonperishable foods, blankets, bedding or sleeping bags, first-aid kit and prescription medications.

Here are some other steps you should take when your power goes out:

  • Turn off all the appliances that were on before the power went out.
  • Unplug electronic equipment, including computers.
  • Leave a light or radio on as an alert when power has been restored.
  • Help Avista crews working in a neighborhood know which homes have power by turning on the front porch light.
  • Do not wire an emergency generator into a home’s electrical system, unless there is a disconnect switch to separate generated power from Avista’s distribution system. Backfeed into power lines could injure or kill a lineman working to get electricity restored.
  • Use a generator only to run specific appliances and locate it outside so poisonous carbon monoxide fumes do not enter the home.

How to stay warm during a power outage:

  • Wear layer clothing
  • Put handwarmers in gloves and socks
  • Close up rooms you won’t be using
  • Huddle in one small room
  • Use duct tape and plastic to cove windows for extra insulation
  • Close blinds and curtains at night
  • Utilized fireplace or wood stove
  • Drink warm liquids

Tips for food if power is out longer than two hours:

  • Half full freezer will hold food safely for about 24 hours.
  • Full freezer will hold food safely for 48 hours.
  • DO NOT open freezer don't unless you need too.
  • Refrigerator items like milk, other dairy products, meat, fish, eggs, gravy and spoilable leftovers should be packed into a cooler surrounded by ice. Styrofoam coolers are fine as well.
  • Use "digital quick-response" thermometer to check the food temperature right before you cook or eat it.
  • Throw away any food with a temperature of 45 degrees Fahrenheit or higher.

Other important information:

  • Write important information on paper, including phone numbers and addresses.
  • If you have a generator, use it safely. Running a generator improperly can kill you in as little as five minutes if the concentration of carbon monoxide is high enough. Keep it as far away from your home as possible and direct the exhaust away from windows. 
  • Check on nearby neighborhoods by communicating with neighbors and family members to let them know. Check to see if elderly neighbors are able to navigate when the lights aren’t on—or if they might want or need your help.

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