October 29, 2012 – Niagara-on-the-Lake – Due to the anticipated path of Hurricane Sandy, Environment Canada has issued severe wind warnings for the Niagara Region of up to 100km/h. As precaution, NOTL Hydro would like to remind all residents to be prepared for possible power outages due to falling limbs and trees that may damage hydro lines.
While we can not predict power interruptions, we must remind you of the wind storm of April 28th, 2011 when some residents were without power for several days. During a power outage, you may be left without heating/air conditioning, lighting, hot water, or even running water.
“NOTL Hydro is determined to ensure that if any power interruptions occur, they will be addressed and corrected as soon as possible,” said NOTL Hydro President Jim Huntingdon. “We appreciate your patience during these times as there can be multiple outages at a single time. We will work until all issues are fixed.”
You can greatly lessen the impact of a power outage by taking the time to prepare in advance. You and your family should be prepared to cope on your own during a power outage for at least 72 hours. Before any major weather system, always make sure that you have one vehicle with a full tank of gasoline. Here are several tips to use should you experience any power disruption:
- First, check whether the power outage is limited to your home. If your neighbours’ power is still on, check your own circuit breaker panel or fuse box. If the problem is not a breaker or a fuse, check the service wires leading to the house. If they are obviously damaged or on the ground, stay at least 10 meters back and notify NOTL Hydro. Our phone number is 905-468-4235.
- If your neighbours’ power is also out, notify NOTL Hydro.
- Turn off all tools, appliances and electronic equipment, and turn the thermostat(s) for the home heating system down to minimum to prevent damage from a power surge when power is restored. Also, power can be restored more easily when there is not a heavy load on the electrical system.
- Turn off all lights, except one inside and one outside, so that both you and hydro crews outside know that power has been restored.
- Don’t open your freezer or fridge unless it is absolutely necessary. A full freezer will keep food frozen for 24 to 48 hours if the door remains closed.
- Never use charcoal or gas barbecues, camping heating equipment, or home generators indoors. They give off carbon monoxide. Because you can’t smell or see it, carbon monoxide can cause health problems and is life-threatening.
- Use proper candle holders. Never leave lit candles unattended and keep out of reach of children. Always extinguish candles before going to bed.
- Listen to your battery-powered or wind-up radio for information on the outage and advice from authorities.
NOTES ON FOOD REFRIGERATION
Refrigerated food must be kept at temperatures of 40 degrees, or lower, to avoid spoiling. Do not taste food to figure out if it’s safe to eat.
· A closed refrigerator will keep food safe for about four hours.
· A closed freezer will maintain food quality for about 48 hours if full, 24 hours if half full.
· 50 pounds of dry ice will keep a freezer cold for two days.
If your power outage lasts longer than four to eight hours, discard the following items:
· Milk products (except butter)
· Fresh meats, poultry and seafood
· Soft cheeses, low-fat cheese and shredded cheese
· Creamy-based dressings, gravy and spaghetti sauce
After an extended power outage, discard all previously frozen products except breads, nuts, hard cheeses, fruit juices.
FROM ENVIRONMENT CANADA
Severe winds of 60 gusting up to 100 km/h beginning this evening.
This is a warning that potentially hazardous winds are expected in these regions. Monitor weather conditions and listen for updated statements.
Hurricane Sandy is forecast to track from the Atlantic ocean into the New Jersey shoreline this evening as it transitions into a powerful post-tropical storm. Winds will increase out of the north to northeast today at 40 gusting to 60 km/h in most areas. They will intensify further this evening to 60 gusting at times to 90 km/h accompanied by heavier bands of rain as Sandy begins to move across Pennsylvania. Winds may be even stronger in the Niagara and Sarnia regions where gusts over 100 km/h are possible. They may also gust a little stronger over higher terrain. Winds will begin to ease below warning criteria on Tuesday morning.
Sporadic power outages are quite likely across the warned regions due to falling limbs and the odd toppled tree taking out hydro lines.