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Power company advises customers to prepare for winter storm outages

With winter weather in the forecasts, Rocky Mountain Power reminds customers it's time to make preparations for possible power outages due to winter storms. A video on the company's website, "Every Minute Counts," walks customers through an overview of the power restoration process and provides information about staying safe during an outage.

"While our people do their best to protect the reliability of electric service to our customers, outages sometimes occur," said Mike Felice, Rocky Mountain Power safety director. "Rocky Mountain Power encourages customers to be prepared for the coming winter weather including knowing how to contact the company and what they can do to be safe during a power outage. This video provides a lot of practical information."

Felice said the first step customers should take when an outage occurs is to look for lights in neighboring homes and check the circuit breakers or fuse box to determine whether or not the cause is a tripped breaker or blown fuse. If it's not a breaker or blown fuse, the toll-free number to report outages is 1-877-508-5088. This number also connects customers to information about current outages in the area.

"Simply assuming someone else has called to report the power outage can delay response time," said Felice. "We want to make sure power is restored as soon as possible, and customer calls helps us in that effort."

Felice also suggests that during an outage customers turn off all electrical equipment and leave just one light turned to the on position in order to prevent overloading circuits in the home when power is restored.

Additional power outage safety tips include:

Never use kerosene or propane heaters inside without proper ventilation.

Do not use charcoal in your house or garage.

Preserve body heat by wearing multiple layers of clothing.

Placing blankets and towels around windows and doors helps keep heat inside.

Full freezers and refrigerators will keep food safe for about two days when kept closed.

If someone in the home is on life support, be sure to have a back-up system and a plan of action for an outage.

Keep everyone, including pets, away from downed power lines and call 911 immediately. Then call Rocky Mountain Power toll free at 1-877-508-5088.

Do not touch a person if a power line is touching them. Immediately call 911.

To see the video, "Every Minute Counts," and for more information, see Rocky Mountain Power's website at or call toll free 1-877-508-5088.

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