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Preparing for potential PG&E power outages

It is now wildfire season in Butte County and PG&E may cut power ahead of high fire danger.

Posted: May 21, 2019 3:53 PM

CHICO, Calif.  - It is now wildfire season in Butte County and PG&E may cut power ahead of high fire danger.

The company says it may cut power to homes ahead of dangerous weather conditions. And that includes cutting power to up to 5 million homes, many that aren't even in wildfire-prone areas.

There are many things that can happen during a power-out that people may not have even considered.  For example, if the power goes out, do you know how to open it manually, in case you need to get your car out to evacuate? Make sure all your family members know how to open the garage door manually.

Do you have enough batteries to power flashlights for each member of your family? Candles are a bad idea.

Water, water, water.  Stock up. And get snacks that don't need refrigeration.  These things are obvious, but what about the food in your refrigerator?

Keeping your freezer door shut can keep your frozen foods from thawing for up to 48 hours. So leave it shut.

Buy a first aid kit, and bag a few days-worth of whatever medications your family uses on a regular basis. 

Either keep that gas tank topped off, or safely store a container of gas.

Have your pet carriers accessible in case you need to evacuate. 

Set a designated spot aside at your home for all of these items so you and your family members know where to find them, instead of having to stumble around in a dark house trying to gather everything up.

Invest in non-battery operated can openers and a styrofoam cooler or two. Generators also come in handy, but make sure you and your family know how to use them safely before a blackout.  Make sure your carbon detectors are working properly. Buy extra batteries, and make sure they're easy to access.

Cash.  The neighborhood ATMs may not be working.

Generators are available for around $400. Make sure you know how to safely use it before a blackout. Go over the safety rules with everyone in the family.

Battery-powered fans: If your power goes out in the summer, why not stay cool?

For more information on winter power outage tips, CLICK HERE

For more information on potential PG&E power outages, CLICK HERE

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It took a few hours, but the sun broke through the clouds over most of northern California Tuesday afternoon. The low clouds, fog and light rain showers return to the valley Wednesday, with snowy weather in the mountains.
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