Last week, many Avista customers lost power because of strong winds that blew through the region. In our area, this kind of event is pretty rare, but I remember the windstorm of 2015 and even the ice storm in 1996.
September is Emergency Preparedness Month, so although I didn’t lose power myself, I thought about what I have on hand here at my house and whether I would have the supplies needed for those occasions when we lose power.
First, it’s always good to report an outage to Avista. A few weeks ago, a transformer down the street from me blew and we lost power. I picked up my phone and logged into the Avista app. Not only could I report the outage, I could see the outage’s status: how long the outage was expected to last and whether or not crews were on their way.
I also watched this video about what to do if your power goes out on the Avista site to see if an outage is neighborhood-wide or if I tripped a circuit breaker. I know where my circuit breaker is, and I checked the meter on the side of my house to see what it looks like when I have power.
I also put together an emergency supply kit for when I need it and put them all into a tote. It wasn’t terribly expensive:
Some other tips I learned from Avista were that I should use surge protectors (power strips) for sensitive electronics like televisions, computers and appliances. My garage door doesn’t have power, but if it did, I should practice using it, electronic gates and security doors without the power so I know how to use them when there is an outage.
Putting this kit together has given me some piece of mind for the next emergency. I remember during the last windstorm scrambling to find all of our flashlights and whether we had fresh batteries. I stored my new kit in my basement for the next emergency.
Lisa, an Avista customer, bought her 1910 house because she loved the old-world character, some of which doesn’t make her house very energy efficient. Lisa is sharing her experience on taking some simple do-it-yourself improvements to inspire others to do the same. You’ll find her stories right here every Tuesday morning.