TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) — There are a number of things people should know before the storm gets at its worst and possibly starts taking down power lines. First, you can cover any cracks under your door, put a towel down to keep the cold air from coming through. Second, make sure you space heater is properly ventilated. Third, wear layers of light clothes to keep warm. Fourth find shelter if you can’t make it home. A worker with the national weather service is reminding you to stock up on food.
“If you haven’t already stocked up on non-perishable food items…such as any canned item,” Jenifer Prieto Meteorologist at the National Weather Service said. “Make sure you have a manual can opener in case your power does go out. And have plenty of water. When there’s cold weather like this, it’s also very dry, so it’s easy to get dehydrated.”
Also if you’re using a generator, make sure they’re at least 20 feet away from your home to prevent any carbon monoxide poisoning.
One thing to note this weekend is that once your power goes out there are a number of ways to report that. You can use the My Westar app, you can text the word OUT to 97827 and you can also call 1-800 LIGHT-KS to report your outage. Chances are Westar Energy will already be aware of outages in your area, but it’s better to be safe than sorry.
There are a couple of factors that can cause your power to go out during an ice storm. One, of course is the ice. The newer power lines Westar is putting up are able to handle about a half an inch of ice before shutting off your power. However the older lines can break with under a half an inch of ice. Second, as ice starts to melt, tree branches can start breaking off and hitting power lines to cause your power to go out. A Westar Energy worker says this is not the weekend to go out and become adventurous and brave. So if you see ice on your power lines and want to try and get them off before it takes out your power…don’t.
“That’s something that, as far as ice collecting on the lines and melting…nature is going to take its course,” Gina Penzig, Media Relations Manager. “As far as if there’s any repair type work then that’s something that really needs to be left to our line men and to professionals who know how to do that safely.”
Gina Penzig with Westar Energy says there will be dozens of extra workers coming in from Colorado to help out the state of Kansas with possible power outages.