by the waning power of your phone while every light in your home has gone dim? Or heard dire predictions from weather people about an onslaught of broken tree limbs and downed power lines? Welcome. It’s going to be okay.
We’re lucky; various lists of states with the most power loss don’t usually include Washington (sorry, Maine), but of course it happens. “This is definitely the season, October to February,” says Nathan MacDonald, a senior public relations specialist at Seattle City Light, citing wind and snowstorms as the most common power destroyers. Here’s how to weather it.
I know, I know. If you’re already in the dark, this is of no help. But for everyone else—or for next time—don’t forget the obvious. Own a flashlight or headlamp (and stash it somewhere you can access in low light); keep nonperishable food and warm blankets at hand if your heat depends on electricity.
How do you know if dark days are on the horizon? Public utility Seattle City Light—who covers nearly a million Puget Sound residents—notes that causes stem from scheduled maintenance, failed technology, human error, or natural causes. A 2014 city document noted that about half the city’s unplanned outages come from falling trees or branches. While lines run underground in downtown, First Hill, and the University District, the rest of the city has vulnerable aboveground lines.