SouthernWestVirginia Preparedeness partnership

BLACKOUTS

On Thursday, August 14, 2003, at approximately 4:11 p.m., a massive widespread power outage occurred throughout parts of the Northeastern and Midwestern United States and Ontario, Canada. The blackout affected an estimated 10 million people in Ontario and 45 million people in eight U.S. states. Essential services remained in operation in some of these areas. In others, backup generation systems failed. Telephone networks generally remained operational, but the increased demand triggered by the blackout left many circuits overloaded. Water systems in several cities lost pressure, forcing boil-water advisories to be put into effect. Cellular service was interrupted as mobile networks were overloaded with the increase in volume of calls. Television and radio stations remained on the air, with the help of backup generators, although some stations were knocked off the air for period ranging from several hours to the length of the entire blackout.

This event illustrated how a blackout and its cascading effects can impact our daily lives and the services we oftentimes take for granted. But you do not have to wait for such an event to take place in order to be better prepared. The following is provided by FEMA in regards to these types of emergencies: "Candles may add a spark of adventure during power failures but are dangerous. Flashlights and electric lanterns are safer by far. Battery operated radios and clocks are other essentials, along with a supply of fresh batteries. If electric wheel chairs or electric life support devices are part of the equation, consider extra battery packs or a prearranged agreement from local police or fire stations for priority support.

During a power outage, resist the temptation to call 9-1-1 for information-that's what your battery-powered radio is for. Keep refrigerator and freezer doors closed as much as possible to prevent food spoilage. Turn off electric appliances to protect against power surges when power is restored. Turn off all lights but one (to alert you when power resumes). Plan on cell phones or corded phones for emergency calls - cordless phones require electricity. Don't plug emergency generators into electric outlets or hook them directly to your home's electrical system - as they can feed electricity back into the power lines, putting you and line workers in danger. Keep your car fuel tank at least half-full (gas stations rely on electricity to power their pumps).

When the power comes back on, wait a few minutes before turning on major appliances, to help eliminate problems that could occur if there's a sharp increase in demand. If you think that electric power has been restored to your area but your home is still without power, call your local power company."

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American Red Cross-Beckley Jerry Runion
Address:
200 Industrial Drive P.O. Box 1598, Beckley ,
WV 25802,
304-255-1508 .
Description: Emergency Services....Disaster's-Flood-Home Fires-Snow Storms-Chemical Spills etc. Provide Food-Clothing -Shelter
Beckley Police Department
Address:
340 Prince Street, Beckley,
WV 25801,
(304) 256-1708.
Description:                      ...
Independence Middle School
Address:
800 Independence Road, Sophia,
WV 25921,
(304) 256-4500.
Description: Proposed location of emergency shelter.
Call for availability of shelter.

Princeton Community Hospital Association
Address:
122 Twelfth St, Princeton,
WV 24740,
.
Description:
Raleigh County Convention Center
Address:
Eisenhower Drive, Beckley,
WV 25801,
(304) 252-7361.
Description:
Trap Hill Middle School
Address:
665 Coal River Road, Glen Daniel,
WV 25844,
(304) 934-5392.
Description: Proposed location of emergency shelter.
Call for availablity of shelter.

Veteran's Hospital
Address:
200 Veterans Ave, Beckley,
WV 25801,
(304) 255-2121.
Description:
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