Winter Storm Preparations for Power Outages

With the potential for a significant winter event Upper Peninsula Power Company officials say the company is prepared to respond if outages result. UPPCO officials released a statement Tuesday afternoon saying, “If the wet, heavy snow falls along with high winds as predicted, power outages from downed trees or limbs could result. People are reminded to stay away from downed power lines. They could still be energized and result in severe injury or death if contacted.”

The company also has several other important reminders for customers.

Customers with high-efficiency furnaces and water heaters that vent through the wall (not into a chimney) should be wary of a buildup of snow or ice around the vent. High-efficiency equipment provides great savings, but a blocked vent could cause the heating system to malfunction by shutting off or, in extreme cases, leading to an accumulation of carbon monoxide in the home. Customers should check the outside vents just to make sure they aren’t covered with snow or ice. Heavy snow and high winds could provide conditions that will result in blocked vents.

Carbon monoxide is an invisible, tasteless, odorless, undetectable poisonous gas that cannot be detected by human senses. Dubbed the “silent killer,” carbon monoxide claims more than 2,000 lives each year and sends more than 40,000 people to the emergency room in the U.S. alone. At high concentrations, carbon monoxide can be fatal within minutes. CO results when there is an improper and/or inefficient burning of natural gas. Customers who experience flu-like symptoms only when at home should arrange for a carbon monoxide check from their local emergency agency immediately. Customers who aren’t already using a carbon monoxide detector should strongly consider purchasing one, said the company.

UPPCO is also asking customers to be wary of the condition electric meters. As the snow melts customers should check to see if icicles are forming above the meters. Large icicles could cause meter damage and potential service interruption if they break and fall into meters.