PUD offers tips on how to prepare for winter

EVERETT — Enjoy it, but don’t let this week’s sunshine and warm temperatures lull you into complacency.

Fall is here and winter is around the corner, which in Snohomish County almost certainly means periods of nasty weather; snow, heavy winds and flooding.

Next week, the Snohomish County PUD plans its second annual Winter Wise Expo to help its customers become better prepared for the changing season.

Scheduled topics include managing trees near power lines, making homes more energy efficient for winter and the proper use of portable generators.

“It’s a great way to pick up a lot of information all at once for getting ready for winter,” said Neil Neroutsos, a spokesman for the utility, which has a 2,200-square-mile service area across Snohomish County and Camano Island.

Workshops are scheduled Oct. 9 from 3 to 5 p.m. at the PUD headquarters, 2320 California St. in Everett.

The utility began the Winter Wise Expo after the snow and windstorms of 2006, the most damaging and expensive storms in the utility’s history.

Storms knocked out power to more than 1.2 million people in the region and caused tens of millions of dollars in damage to local utilities and their customers.

Some people used charcoal for cooking food and heating indoors, and some used gasoline generators indoors, or too close to their homes. As a result, many people ended up in the hospital during the 2006 winter storms and some died as a result of carbon monoxide poisoning.

Being prepared includes having gas in your car, water and nonperishable food on hand, flashlights and portable radios with charged batteries, a well-stocked first aid kit, and supplies for keeping warm.

The PUD provides updates to KIRO (710-AM), KOMO (1000-AM) and KRKO (1380-AM) during storm-related power outages.

Reporter David Chircop: 425-339-3429 or dchircop@heraldnet.com.

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