FortisBC is advising electric customers in the Kootenay and Okanagan to prepare for possible outages this weekend after Environment Canada called for strong winds and heavy snow in these regions. (Trail Times file photo)

Snowstorm called for the Kootenays

FortisBC advises electric customers to prepare for storm-related outages

Strong winds and heavy snow is in the Kootenay forecast going into the weekend.

Related story: (Dec. 20/17) Thousands lost power in Tuesday snowstorm

That means power could go out as the winter storm rolls through, so FortisBC is reminding electric customers to prepare for weather-related outages.

“FortisBC is advising electric customers in the Okanagan and Kootenay regions of the possibility of electric outages,” the company states. “Winter storms in our mountainous service areas often lead to trees falling on power lines, which can cause outages for our customers. We are asking our customers to prepare for outages.”

FortisBC recommends the following:

• Post emergency and utility contact numbers in a central place in the house and store your emergency kit where you can easily find it in the dark.

• Prepare an emergency kit with enough supplies for at least 72 hours and store it in a location you can easily find in the dark.

• Stock up on sleeping bags, blankets and extra clothing for warmth.

• Protect your electronics, such as TVs, cable boxes, PVRs and computers, by plugging them into surge-protecting power bars.

• Try to keep phones charged and conserve your cell phone batteries when a storm is in the forecast.

• Know how to use the manual releases on automated doors.

Follow @FortisBC on Twitter and check for updates on outages and crews working in your area.

Map here: FortisBC outages

“Restoring service as quickly as possible is a top priority for FortisBC,” the company says. “And we recognize that outages inconvenience customers. We appreciate your patience and support while repair and service restoration is underway.”

If report an outage or see a downed power line, call 1-866-436-7847, option 1.

“Our crews have the necessary training, equipment and knowledge to deal with the situation safely,” FortisBC advises.

“Keep at least 10 metres—approximately the length of a school bus—away from any downed lines.”

For more information on emergency preparedness click here: Power outages

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