High winds and power outages

High winds and power outages

Due to the severe winds in the Seattle area, be prepared for possible power outages. If the electricity goes out, remember that burning gas, wood, or charcoal inside your home increases your risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. It’s an odorless, invisible gas that can cause serious disease or death.

Here are a few safety tips to help prepare for when the power goes out:


  • Make sure carbon monoxide alarms are installed
    on every level of your home and outside every sleeping area. Test your CO
    alarms along with your smoke alarms monthly and change the batteries at least
    once a year.
  • Keep an emergency kit ready that includes:
    • first-aid kit
    • flashlight with extra batteries
    • glow-in-the-dark stick lights
    • portable radio
    • manual can opener
    • portable charger for your phone
    • prescription medications
  • Stock up on:
    • non-perishable foods
    • drinking water (one gallon per person per day)
    • warm clothing and blankets
  • Know how to manually override your electric
    garage door or gateway.
  • If you live in a secured building, know which
    exit doors to use during an outage.
Never use generators inside the home or garage

During the power

  • Never touch or approach a downed wire or anything
    in direct contact with it.
  • Immediately report the outage to your
    electricity provider (Seattle City Light’s phone number for reporting is (206)
  • Do not burn charcoal or use gasoline generators
    indoors, including the garage.
  • Never use gas ovens to heat your home, even for
    a short time.
  • Do not use candles as a light source nor any
    open flame as a heat source.
  • Before using a fireplace or wood stove, make
    sure that chimneys and flues are in good condition and are not blocked.
  • Move flammable materials at least three feet
    away from a fireplace or wood stove.
  • Switch electrical appliances off after the power
    goes out to prevent fires and equipment damage.

If the CO alarm sounds, turn off any heating
appliance and open windows to get fresh air. Call 911 if you experience CO
poisoning symptoms such as dizziness, vomiting, or headaches and move to fresh
air immediately. If you suspect an appliance is the source, call a qualified
technician to fix the problem before restarting the appliance.

  • Power outage safety from King County (multilingual)
  • What to do in the event of a power outage available in Amharic, Chinese Simplified, Chinese Traditional, Korean, Somali, Spanish, Vietnamese (Seattle & King County Public Health)
  • Power outage safety from Ready gov
  • Power outage safety from the Red Cross
  • Power outage safety from the CDC

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