Tips on how to be prepared if you lose power during winter storm

PITTSBURGH — When snow and ice is expected, there could be issues with downed power lines and power outages.

Penn Power said they have crews ready to respond, and once the first outage begins crews will work 16 hours on, 8 hours off until all power is restored.

Here’s a look at some ice facts:

  • One-quarter inch of ice on power lines can add 500 pounds of extra weight
  • Ice can increase the weight of branches by 30 times
  • One-quarter to one-half inch of ice can start to damage trees and power lines
  • High winds can cause power lines to sway, furthering the problem

Matt Ricigliano, who lives along Route 228, said he plans on going to the store and stocking up before anything happens.

“I mean having a dog is another item to take care of having an animal and make sure they have food if it’s cold find extra blankets to keep him warm,” he said.

Penn Power shared some tips on how you can be prepared in case you lose power, and said they are on alert should the ice cause trees and power lines to topple.

LIVE UPDATES: Winter Storm Warning: Snow, ice coming in two rounds for western Pennsylvania

First, make sure you have flashlights with fresh batteries and make sure your cell phone is charged.

Jeff Cappatt, who also lives along Route 228 said he is prepared with flashlights and space heaters.

“I mean it’s definitely frustrating especially with it being so cold with no heat or electricity it will get cold pretty fast,” he said.

Penn Power also says to have plenty of bottled water on hand and stock up on foods that do not require cooking or heating up.

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Make sure you have plenty of warm clothes. Throw on extra layers and wrap yourself up in some blankets.

It’s best to congregate in rooms in the center of your house and to avoid windows.

Also, don’t use gas stoves, grills or other open flames to warm your house because carbon monoxide gas may build up in your home.