(EL PASO COUNTY, Colo.) — As the snowstorm continues to move in on Wednesday, Feb. 15, Colorado Springs Utilities (CSU), shared some safety tips during extreme weather.
CSU recommends households have an emergency kit filled with supplies they may need to survive for several days. Ready.gov features a shopping list for both a basic kit and a more expansive kit with additional supplies as well as information about storing and maintaining the kit.
CSU features safety tips for various types of outages that might occur during a storm. CSU reassures it has taken the proper steps in preparing for the storm and is ready to respond to outages.
- Have a backup plan to maintain the use of any medical support equipment that is dependent on electricity.
- Do not use ovens, stoves, or camping stoves for heat to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning.
- If a generator is required, use it outdoors and away from windows.
- Review instructions for garage doors or electric gates and learn how to operate them manually.
- Keep refrigerators and freezers shut. CSU said a full freezer can maintain its temperature for about two days without electricity if left unopened.
- After an outage, disconnect electronics and appliances to avoid electrical surges as CSU works to restore power.
Damaged Power Lines:
- Always assume all utility lines are live.
- Stay at least 35 feet away from downed power lines and anything lines are touching.
- Do not touch someone who is in contact with a downed line, call 911 immediately.
- Never touch any utility wire. Do not attempt to move a downed line or touch a branch that’s in contact with a power line.
- Call (719) 448-4800 to report a damaged line.
Natural Gas Outage:
- During cold weather, dress warmly in layers to conserve heat.
- Uncover south-facing windows to take advantage of heat from the sun. Close coverings on all other windows.
- If you smell, hear, or see a natural gas leak, leave the area immediately and call 911.
- In the event of a leak, do not use electric appliances or anything that can spark.
- Ahead of a severe storm or planned outage, fill containers with tap water. Fill your bathtub with water to flush your toilet.
- Flush interior water lines following an outage. Run cold water from each faucet for three to five minutes until the water runs clear.
- Avoid using hot water until the water runs clear. You may need to flush the water heater as well. Refer to your water heater’s manual for additional instructions.
- Flush outdoor spigots by removing nozzles or sprinklers from hoses and allowing the water to run for 10-15 minutes. Repeat the process as necessary until the water runs clear.
If you do encounter an outage, report it on CSU’s website.