ALERT: High Winds on West Coast Cause for Preparation
High Winds on West Coast Cause for Preparation
The National Weather Service has issued a variety of High Wind Warnings for the West Coast with wind gusts up to 70 MPH in higher elevation areas.
Use extreme caution when traveling, especially large -load vehicles on bridges and in higher elevations.
Protect employees and postpone as possible work on tower, upper floor building windows, or other wind-risk structures.
Hurricane-force winds can easily destroy poorly constructed buildings and mobile homes. Debris such as signs, roofing material, and small items left outside become flying missiles in extreme high wind situations.
Extensive damage to trees, towers, water and underground utility lines (from uprooted trees), and fallen poles cause considerable disruption.
High-rise buildings are also vulnerable to hurricane-force winds, particularly at the higher levels since wind speed tends to increase with height. Recent research suggests you should stay below the tenth floor (still above any floors at risk for flooding depending upon the weather event risk).
Roofs are frequently damaged in high winds. Roof cover damage is present in 85 percent to 95 percent of wind-related insured property losses each year.
It is not uncommon for high-rise buildings to suffer a great deal of damage due to windows being blown out. Consequently, the areas around these buildings can be very dangerous.
- Most mobile / manufactured homes are not built to withstand hurricane force winds. Residents of homes not meeting that level of safety should relocate to a nearby safer structure.
- Secure or bring inside all lawn furniture and other outside objects that could become a projectile in high winds.
- Listen carefully for safety instructions from local officials.
- Monitor NOAA Weather Radio.
From the NWS Website:
“A large-scale, damaging wind event is expected over portions of the western United States over the next couple of days. High Wind Warnings and Wind Advisories are in effect for parts of California, Utah, Nevada, and Arizona, New Mexico and Wyoming. Easterly winds will cause locally strong canyon wind events on the west side of mountains from Utah to California. This is the strongest easterly wind event in several years. Winds are forecast to gust to 80 mph in areas around Los Angeles, with gusts to 100 mph over the highest ridges along the Sierra Crest. With dry conditions, there is an increased fire threat for urban areas in California. “
- “DOWNED TREES AND BRANCHES MAY CAUSE POWER OUTAGES.
- LOOSE OBJECTS NOT TIED DOWN MAY BLOW AROUND. DRIVING HIGH PROFILE VEHICLES WILL BE DIFFICULT AND POSSIBLY DANGEROUS.
- ANY STRUCTURE FIRE OR WILDFIRE COULD BE DIFFICULT TO SUPPRESS DUE TO THE STRONG WINDS.
- PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS… A HIGH WIND WARNING MEANS A HAZARDOUS HIGH WIND EVENT IS EXPECTED OR OCCURRING. SUSTAINED WIND SPEEDS OF AT LEAST 40 MPH OR GUSTS OF 58 MPH OR MORE CAN LEAD TO PROPERTY DAMAGE. A WIND ADVISORY MEANS THAT WINDS OF 35 MPH ARE EXPECTED OR GUSTS AS HIGH AS 45 MPH. WINDS THIS STRONG CAN MAKE DRIVING DIFFICULT…ESPECIALLY FOR HIGH PROFILE VEHICLES. USE EXTRA CAUTION.”
Bay Area Residents
PG&E offers these suggestions to help customers get ready for the oncoming wind warning:
• If you see a downed power line, assume it is “live” or carrying electric current. Do not touch or try to move it—and keep children and animals away. Report downed power lines immediately by calling 911 and by calling PG&E at 1-800-PGE-5000.
• Before calling PG&E about an outage, customers should ensure their outage is storm-related by checking their circuit breakers and/or fuse boxes to see whether the problem is limited to the electric system in their home or office, and/or by checking with neighbors to see whether other people are affected.
• Do not use candles because of the risk of fire. If you must use candles, use extreme caution. Do not use candles near drapes, under lampshades or near holiday trees. Keep candles away from small children and do not leave candles unattended.
• If your power goes out, turn off or unplug all electric appliances; otherwise, several appliances may come back on at once and overload your circuits when power is restored. Hot appliances also pose a fire hazard if they come back on while you’re away or asleep. Leave a single lamp on to alert you when power returns. Turn your appliances back on one at a time when conditions return to normal.
• Have battery-operated radios with fresh batteries ready for updates on storm conditions and power outages.
• Have battery-operated flashlights with fresh batteries on hand.
• Have a cell phone or hard-wire, single-line telephone on hand. Cordless phones will not work without electricity.
• Fill used liter-size plastic soda bottles with water and place them in the freezer. During an extended outage, transfer them to your refrigerator to prevent food from spoiling. Open the refrigerator only when necessary to keep warm air out and cooler air in.
• If you have a generator, inform PG&E and do not use it unless it is installed safely and properly. If it is not, you risk damaging your property and endangering yourself and PG&E line workers who may be working on nearby power lines.