The National Weather Service in Cleveland has issued a High Wind Warning through 10 p.m. this evening for many northeast Ohio counties including Cuyahoga.
What does that really mean? A high wind warning is issued when sustained winds of 40 mph are expected for at least an hour, with gusts of 58 mph or greater at any time. Local forecasters have predicted winds will be increasing and may be in the range of 25 to 35 mph with gusts to 60 mph. in Cleveland.
With winds this high some of the possible effects include downed power lines and trees as well as flying and breaking tree limbs. These problems could result in the loss of power so we are providing information on what you can do if you lose power, not only to safeguard you but also to help us get your service restored as quickly as possible.
The first order of business is to call our Trouble line at 216.664.3156 to let us know you do not have power. When making this call, be patient because just like you – your neighbors may be calling as well, resulting in busy signals or longer than usual waits for someone to answer.
Second, it is always good to have a traditional landline that just plugs into the telephone jack. As much as we all love the portability of cordless telephones if your electric service is interrupted and these are the only telephones you have you will be without telephone service. Cellular phones are great too – but if you haven’t charged it in recently you will soon be without it as well.
If you are having still having difficulty reporting your outage you can post a message on our Facebook page www.facebook.com/clevelandpublicpower or send a tweet to @clepublicpower. These sites are monitored frequently during inclement weather.
Now for tips to keep you and your family safe:
- Downed power lines – Never touch, move or go near any downed or hanging lines. The first action should be to call 9-1-1 or your local utility. CPP’s Trouble Line can be reached by calling 216-664-3156.
- Do not put your feet in water where a downed line is laying
- Do not try to move tree limbs
- If you see someone who has come into contact with a downed line, do not touch them, again call 9-1-1
- If a line comes down on your car stay inside, roll down your window and warn others to stay away. Call authorities or ask a passerby to call authorities. The only time you should exit a vehicle with a downed line on it is if it has caught fire. If the vehicle is on fire, open the door and jump with both feet together to avoid contact with the car. It is metal and, therefore you could receive a shock.
- Power outage and food safety – Unless there is a major outage extending more than 4 hours, your food should be safe in the refrigerator as long as you leave the doors closed. After that point, you may want to begin to prepare and/or eat the food.
- Food in the freezer will hold much longer. According to the USDA, “a full freezer will hold the temperature for approximately 48 hours (24 hours if it is half full) if the door remains closed.”
- If it appears the outage will last for a prolonged period of time, the USDA suggests obtaining dry ice or block ice to keep the refrigerator cold. The USDA reports, “fifty pounds of dry ice should hold an 18-cubic foot full freezer for 2 days.”