Utilities,KSP, AAA offer safety reminders, tips ahead of frigid, icy weather

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – With colder temperatures and icy winter weather on the way, Louisville Gas and Electric Company and Kentucky Utilities Company are offering seasonal reminders to help area residents stay safe and comfortable in their homes.

  • Keep warm air in and cold air out – Ensure heating systems are operating efficiently. Seal leaks and gaps around the home with caulk, spray foam or weather-stripping. Make sure warm-air registers are not blocked by drapes or furniture. Check out additional cold weather energy saving tips on our website.
  • Build an emergency kit – Keep an emergency kit on hand that includes a battery-powered radio, flashlights for everyone in the family, fresh batteries for any devices, a first-aid kit, and over-the-counter and prescription medications. Visit www.ready.gov for a complete list of essential emergency kit supplies.
  • Stay away from fallen power lines – Strong wind, snow and ice accumulation on tree branches can sometimes cause them to break and fall into power lines. Consider all fallen lines dangerous. Stay away and contact the utilities.
  • Contact LG&E and KU – LG&E and KU customers with registered accounts can report an outage online at lge-ku.com or by texting OUTAGE to 4LGEKU (454358). To report a downed wire, LG&E customers should call 502-589-1444; KU customers should call 1-800-981-0600.
  • Check out the online outage map – Customers can access the LG&E and KU outage map on the website from their mobile device to track weather conditions and receive near real-time information about outages throughout our system, a summary of outages by zip code and county, and an estimated restoration time.

KENTUCKY POWER 

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Weather forecasts are calling for severe weather to move into the Kentucky Power territory beginning Wednesday morning and continuing in some areas through Thursday. Ice is the biggest threat at this time which can cause significant damage to electrical facilities, causing power outages and providing unsafe travel conditions.

Storm Response Efforts

In addition to Kentucky Power’s crews and business partners, nearly 220 additional personnel will arrive in the area this evening and tomorrow to be ready to respond should outages occur. In the event of outages, restoration efforts will be an all-hands-on-deck approach and crews will work until every customer is restored.

Damage assessment is the initial step in power restoration once it is safe for crews to travel. Restoration is completed through a prioritized process: 1) essential facilities such as hospitals are restored first; 2) then large circuits affecting the most customers; 3) and then to other homes and businesses on smaller outage cases.

Customer Information

While Kentucky Power crews prepare, customers are urged to do the same. Make sure you have an emergency plan for your family and elderly relatives or neighbors.

Assemble an emergency outage kit that includes the following items, at a minimum:

  • Charge your cell phone and other devices
  • Have on hand flashlights and fresh batteries
  • Have extra water for drinking and cooking
  • Portable heater (oil or gas)*
  • Non-perishable food and a manual can opener
  • Manufacturers’ instructions for power-operated equipment such as the garage door, generator
  • Important medicines you need to take. Better to locate them while the power is still on.

* Caution: Some portable heaters can cause fires or other safety hazards when not used as specified by the manufacturer. Be sure to review the safety specifications of your specific model before using it during an outage.

For More Information

Customers can report outages and check the latest restoration information for their account anytime at kentuckypower.com/outages or by downloading the Kentucky Power mobile app at kentuckypower.com/app. The outage map is updated every 15 minutes. Restoration information is added when known. Click on “View Outage Map” to access the map on a computer, cell phone, or tablet. Customers can report outages online, on their mobile device or to our Customer Operations Center at 1-800-572-1113.

Customers also can get specific information about outages via text message and/or email by subscribing to Kentucky Power outage alerts. To sign up, please visit www.kentuckypower.com/alerts. Information also is posted on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/KentuckyPower and on Twitter at twitter.com/KentuckyPower or @KentuckyPower.

Safety Message

Stay away from all downed lines or sparking equipment, and keep children and pets away from fallen lines and anything the lines may touch.

For everyone’s health and safety with the ongoing Covid-19 crisis, please do not approach power company personnel in the field.

Next Update:

Wednesday, February 10, 10 a.m.

AAA SAFETY TIPS

With the forecast calling for icy conditions over the next couple of days, AAA offers the following tips for vehicle care and driving.

AAA tips for frozen doors, door locks and windows:

  • Wipe down and dry weather strips and surfaces around doors and windows. Apply a lubricant (WD40, cooking spray and even Vaseline work well) to the weather stripping.
  • If windows are frozen do not continue to push the power window buttons. It can damage the mechanics inside the door and can also cause the window to break.
  • If locks are frozen, do not use water to thaw. Instead use commercial deicing products or heat the key and lock with a hair dryer. A lighter can also be used to heat the key.
  • If windshield wipers are frozen to the windshield, use the heater and defroster to melt the ice before turning the windshield wipers on. When you arrive at your destination pull the windshield wipers away from the windshield to prevent refreezing.

AAA offers the following safe driving tips under icy conditions:

  • Slow down. Accelerate, turn and brake gradually. Adjust your speed to the road conditions and leave yourself ample room to stop. Allow at least three times more space than usual between you and the car in front of you.
  • Do not tailgate. Normal following distances of three to four seconds on dry pavement should be extended to a minimum of eight to ten seconds when driving on slippery surfaces. The extra time will provide additional braking room should a sudden stop become necessary.
  • Watch the traffic ahead. Slow down immediately at the sight of brake lights, fishtailing cars, sideways skids or emergency flashers ahead.
  • Never use cruise control on slippery roads. Patches of ice can cause unexpected wheel spin and use of cruise control can slow driver response.
  • Avoid unnecessarily changing lanes. This increases the chances of hitting a patch of ice between lanes that could cause loss of vehicle control.
  • Use extreme caution on bridges and overpasses. Black ice typically forms first in shaded areas of the roadway and on bridges and overpasses that freeze first and melt last. Although the road leading up to a bridge may be fine, the bridge itself could be a sheet of ice.
  • Move Over. Move over one lane for law enforcement and emergency roadside personnel assisting motorists. It is the law. If you are unable to move over, slow down.
  • Carry a winter weather kit in your car. Contents should include a fully charged cellphone (and car charger), ice scraper, blanket, warm winter clothing, flashlight with extra batteries, jumper cables, a bag of kitty litter, reflective triangles/flares, shovel and cloth/paper towels.

 Tips for Braking on Ice:

  • Minimize the need to brake on ice. If you’re approaching a stop sign, traffic light or other area where ice often forms, brake early on clear pavement to reduce speed. Maintaining control of your vehicle is much more difficult when braking on ice-covered roadways.
  • Control the skid. In the event of a skid, ease off the accelerator and steer in the direction you want the front of the car to go.
  • If your car has an anti-lock braking system (ABS). Do not remove your foot from the brake during a skid. When you apply the brakes hard enough to make the wheels lock momentarily, you will typically feel the brake pedal vibrate and pulsate back against your foot. This is normal and the system is working as designed. Do not release pressure on the pedal or attempt to “pump” the brakes.
  • If your car does not have an anti-lock braking system. Keep the heel of your foot on the floor and use the ball of your foot to modulate the pressure applied to the brake pedal so the brakes are at the “threshold” of lockup but still rotating.