Monday, October 29, 2012

Please take this storm seriously

HIGH WIND WARNING in effect Monday afternoon through Tuesday for all of Northern Ohio... including Greater Cleveland, Akron, Canton, Mentor, Ravenna, Wooster, Millersburg, Ashtabula, Youngstown and surrounding areas. High winds are expected Monday afternoon thru Tuesday morning for parts of the area, especially along the Lakeshore. Sustained north winds will blow between 35 & 45mph with gusts to 70 mph. Tree and power line damage is possible, along with siding and roof damage. This is a significant weather event for Northern Ohio.

We recommend having a home preparation plan in place for between seven to ten days of power outages in a worst-case scenario with this storm system.

Here are some tips to adequately prepare yourself:

• Keep a flashlight and extra batteries handy. Be careful when burning candles because of the hazards of open flames.

• Gather extra blankets or a sleeping bag for each person. Do not use gas stoves, kerosene heaters or other open-flame heat sources to prevent carbon monoxide (CO) gas from building up in your home. CO gas can be deadly.

• If you have a water well and pump, keep an emergency supply of bottled water and/or fill your bathtub with fresh water.

• Stock an emergency supply of convenience foods that do not require cooking.

• Keep a battery-powered radio with extra batteries on hand. Tune in to a local radio station for current storm information.

• Have a hard-wired telephone or a charged cell phone handy in the event you need to report a power outage. Mobile phones can be charged in your vehicle using a car charger when power is out. If you have a smartphone, this will ensure you have access to online information sources.

Here are web links to outage maps, outage reporting forms and a list of phone numbers to report power outages to the various electricity companies in the area. Please DO NOT CALL 911 or local law enforcement to report power outages.

FirstEnergy: 1-888-LIGHTSS (1-888-544-4877)

American Electric Power: (800) 672-2231
(AEP requests customers only report safety hazards during major storms to avoid overloading their phone systems.)