Wind storms, especially combined with heavy rains, can bring down trees in Bellevue, which in turn can take down power lines.
Puget Sound Energy provides electrical power to homes and businesses in Bellevue. Because power outages often occur during severe weather, it's a good idea to prepare a plan and build an emergency kit ahead of time. (PSE explains how to safely turn off gas and electric service to your home in the event of an emergency.)
Before a power outage:
- Prepare an emergency preparedness kit with a flashlight, batteries, bottled water, non-perishable food, blankets and warm clothing, emergency phone numbers, a first aid kit and other items you might need if power is out for several days.
- If a storm is predicted, make sure your vehicle has plenty of gas. When power is out, gas pumps at service stations typically don’t work.
- If your garage has an electric door opener, locate the manual release lever and know how to operate it.
- Stock up on shelf-stable foods such as canned goods, juices, peanut butter, energy bars, trail mixes and "no-freeze" entrees.
- Plan ahead ways to keep foods cold. Buy some freeze-pack inserts and keep them frozen. Buy a cooler. Freeze water in plastic jugs or containers or store bags of ice.
- Install surge protectors and/or battery systems for computers.
- If a permanent generator installation is desired, consult a licensed electrician to install an approved transfer switch. Do not connect a generator directly into your home's main fuse box or circuit panel.
- For help with planning and installing backup generators, call Puget Sound Energy (1-800-562-1482 ).
- Check information from King County about preventing carbon monoxide poisoning and other extreme weather tips in multiple languages.
- Download our pictograms (available in 15 languages).
During a power outage:
- Call PSE at 1-888-225-5773 to report a power outage. It may be quicker to leave information on PSE's automated phone system. Their service personnel will be notified, and the system provides updates to specific addresses. You can also report it online and check PSE's outage map.
- Do not use gasoline-powered machinery, such as generators, indoors or in a garage; toxic fumes can build up and are dangerous! Operate generators outdoors. Plug appliances directly into the generator using heavy duty, properly grounded extension cords that aren’t worn or frayed.
- Do not use charcoal grills indoors. Dangerous carbon monoxide can result.
- Do not use a gas range or oven for room heating. A fuel-burning heater, such as a kerosene heater, requires plenty of ventilation to prevent buildup of harmful fumes. Place heaters on a hard surface away from flammable materials. Never leave children or pets alone when using a portable heater.
- Turn off lights and appliances, including your furnace, and unplug sensitive electronic devices, like computers to avoid a circuit overload when power is restored. Leave one light switch on so you’ll know when service returns.
- Keep freezer and refrigerator doors closed; open them only when necessary.
- Food will usually stay frozen for 36-48 hours in a fully loaded freezer if you keep the door closed. A half-full freezer will generally keep food frozen for 24 hours.
- If driving and traffic signals are out, treat the intersection as a four-way stop.
- Call Bellevue’s Service First at 425-452-6800 to see if shelters have been set up.
What should you do in a windstorm? The pictograms on this page, presented in multiple languages, are helpful.