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High-wind warning in effect in the San Juans; here's what you need to know to be prepared
The National Weather Service in Seattle has issued a high-wind warning for portions of the Northwest interior and Admiralty Inlet. The warning is in effect from 1 p.m. today to 1 a.m. Thursday.
Southerly winds will gradually increase through the day over the Northwest interior. In areas susceptible to strong southerly winds, expect sustained wind speeds of 25-40 mph and gusts to 60 mph this afternoon and evening. This would include Island and San Juan counties, the area around Admiralty Inlet and from Arlington up through Bellingham.
Winds will ease overnight tonight, the National Weather Service reported.
A High Wind Warning means that a hazardous wind event is imminent or occurring. High winds can topple trees, down power lines, and destroy property.
"Make sure you have alternate light and heat source," Undersheriff Jon Zerby advised. "Move your cars away from trees. That's what I always do. And I secure the stuff on my deck so it doesn't blow into the neighbor's yard."
The Town of Friday Harbor and San Juan County Department of Emergency Management posted the following information, outlining what you can do to prepare for windstorms.
BEFORE THE STORM
— Have a disaster plan; and assemble a disaster supplies kit (include several flashlights, battery powered radio, extra batteries and a wind-up clock).
— Anchor outdoor objects that can blow away.
— Fill vehicles with gas in case the gas stations lose power.
— Register life-sustaining equipment with your utility.
— Consider buying a small generator to power electrically powered life-sustaining equipment.
— When installing generators, follow the manufacturer's instructions and have it inspected by the utility company and state electrical inspector.
— Have a corded telephone available. Cordless phones do not work when the power is out.
— Post the phone number of the "New Construction, Repairs and Power Outage" listing of your local utility.
— Learn how to open your electric garage door using the manual override.
— Make sure you have an alternate heat source and fuel supply.
DURING THE STORM
— Do not drive or go outside in high winds. Avoid windows.
— Stay far away from downed power lines.
— Report the outage to your local utility, otherwise, use the phone for emergencies only.
— If you are the only one without power, check your fuse box or circuit breaker panel. Turn off large appliances before replacing fuses or resetting circuits.
— If power is out in the neighborhood, disconnect all electrical heaters and appliances to reduce the initial demand and protect motors from possible low voltage damage.
— Connect lights and appliances directly to a generator, not to an existing electrical system.
— If you leave home, turn off or unplug heat producing
— Unplug computers and other voltage sensitive equipment to protect them from power surges.
— Conserve water, especially if you are on a well.
— Keep doors, windows and draperies closed to retain heat.
— Keep refrigerator and freezer doors closed. If doors remain closed, a fully loaded freezer can keep foods frozen for two days.
— Be extremely careful of fire hazards caused by candles or other flammable sources.
— When using kerosene heaters, gas lanterns or stoves indoors, maintain ventilation to avoid a build-up of toxic fumes.
— Do not use charcoal indoors.
— Leave on light switch on to alert you when the power is restored.