Protect your home from windy weather
The wind of our first autumn storm in Grays Harbor caused multiple power outages, including ones in Satsop, Ocean Shores and Copalis Beach.
That begs the question: What can you do now to prepare for windy weather and power outages?
Remove projectiles from yard!
We here at NeighborWorks of Grays Harbor talked about this in our last blog, but if you haven’t done it yet, now’s the time to put away patio furniture and umbrellas and anything else that could take flight during a wind storm -- even trampolines!
This is also a good time to survey the trees in your yard, especially those near your power lines and within reach of your home. Do you have any large branches that are a potential threat to your home or your neighbors? Could they crunch a parked or passing car or hit a passerby? Trim them so they are at least one to two feet from your house.
Topping tall trees is an effective high wind control measure. But many of us may not feel qualified to determine what needs to be trimmed and/or are not able to do the work ourselves. Thankfully we live in the right place to find an expert to help! The Twin Harbors has several licensed, bonded and insured tree trimmers and fallers to do the work properly for you and the trees. It might seem like a bit of money now, but it could save you a fortune, and maybe even heartache later.
Keep up with leaves in your gutters
Leaves, needles and other debris can accumulate quickly in your gutters in the fall. For your sake, and that of your house, keep them cleaned out. You don’t want water to overflow your gutters and cause damage to your house.
(Of course, we highly recommend using a ladder stand-off attachment on an extension ladder to do this task.)
While you are examining the gutters, take a hose and test the downspouts to make sure they aren’t plugged. And, you also don’t want water puddling near your foundation or basement, so place a splash block or connect additional piping at the bottom of each downspout. Water in your basement is one indicator that rainwater is concentrated too close to the house.
Calling when power goes out
What should you do to alert the PUD if your home is out of power?
The Grays Harbor PUD has an Outage Hotline you can call to let them know of a power outage. The number is (360) 537-3721, or toll free at 1-888-541-5923.
Those numbers are only for use to report or learn about an outage; they are not for customer service questions.
However, the PUD is almost always already aware that your power is out and is working as quickly and safely as possible to restore it.
Some folks also choose to let the PUD notify them if there is an outage. Our Grays Harbor PUD offers several ways to get this information sent to individual customers, including via Facebook, Twitter, text message or e-mail. Go to ghpus.org/outage-safety and select “outage-alerts” to learn more about each of those options.
Protect key equipment
Another thing you can do now is to purchase quality surge protector devices. And if you have a high-end TV or computer you want to protect, spend a little more money for a high-end surge protector!
If your appliance or electronic device is ruined when the power comes back on, it’s up to your home owner’s or renter’s insurance to cover it. As a public entity, the PUD cannot use ratepayers’ money to pay out for damages where it is not at fault.
So, as you shop for new or even just appreciate what your old electronics mean to you, you may want to protect your investment by buying a new surge protector.
Live wires, generators
We have more to say about staying safe in a power outage – most will have to wait. But in the meantime, here are three safety reminders that you should be aware of in windy weather.
Always stay away from any downed power lines and assume they are live and dangerous.
If you use a generator always do so following the manufacturer’s directions. Pay close attention to having it placed so that the exhaust cannot enter your home and harm you with carbon monoxide.
Smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors save lives. Make sure yours are working properly.