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- A portable generator is an internal combustion engine that exhausts a deadly gas called carbon monoxide or CO. CO is odorless and colorless, and you can be overcome if the generator is indoors.
- Be sure to place the generator outside where exhaust fumes will not enter into enclosed spaces. Only operate a generator outdoors in a well-ventilated, dry area, away from air intakes to the home. The generator should be protected from direct exposure to rain.
- Don't connect your generator directly to your home's wiring.
- Connecting a portable electric generator directly to your household wiring can be deadly. A generator that is directly connected to your home's wiring can 'back feed' into the power lines connected to your home.
- Utility transformers can then increase this lower electrical voltage to thousands of volts. That's more than enough to kill a utility lineman making outage repairs many miles away. You could also cause expensive damage to utility equipment and your generator.
- If you wish to hard-wire a generator to your home, it should be installed by a licensed electrician with an approved cut-off switch that will automatically disconnect the home from the power grid when the generator is being used. Please check with your local utility company before installing a hard-wired generator.
- Don't plug a portable generator into an electrical outlet in your home or garage.
- If a generator is plugged into your home's electrical circuits, it can still 'back feed' power into the utility company lines, which can injure or kill utility workers fixing on the downed power lines.
- The correct way to use a generator is to connect a heavy-duty, outdoor-rated power cord to the generator. Appliances can then be connected to the power cord.
- Make sure that the outdoor-rated power cord has a sufficient wire gauge to handle the electrical load.
- Don't overload the generator.
- All generators have a power rating. They should be used only when necessary and only to power a limited number of appliances or equipment.
- The total wattage used by the appliances should be less than the output rating of the generator. If you put too many appliances on the generator, it could seriously damage the appliances and electronics. Overloading the generator could also cause fires in the power cord.
- Make sure your generator is properly grounded to avoid electrical shocks.
- Check the generator owner's manual for correct grounding information.
- Do not store gasoline for the generator indoors.
- Gasoline should be stored in approved, non-glass safety containers.
- Don't store gasoline in a garage if there's a water heater or other fuel-burning appliance in the garage. Vapor from gasoline is heavier than air and can travel invisible along the floor. It could be ignited by a pilot light or other source of flame, such as an electric spark.
- Extinguish all flames or cigarettes when handling gasoline or the generator.
- Shut off the generator before refueling. Turn off all equipment powered by the generator before shutting it down.
- Always have a fully charged, approved fire extinguisher located near the generator.
- Read and adhere to the manufacturer's directions for safe operation.
- Read the owner's manual before you operate the generator. If you've lost the manual, contact the manufacturer for another copy. You can often download the manual from a manufacturer's Web site. Keep the owner's manual with the generator in a zip-lock bag to keep it dry.
- Many generator parts are hot enough to burn you during operation. Stay away from the muffler and other hot areas.
- Keep children away from portable electric generators at all times.
- If using portable or camp-type stoves or lanterns for cooking and lighting, ensure that the area is adequately ventilated.
* Power Outages - If you lose power, open freezers and refrigerators only when necessary to preserve the cold air.
* Disaster Supplies Kit - Assemble a disaster supplies kit with the following items: water, non-perishable food, can opener, flashlight and extra batteries, first aid kit, whistle to signal for help, most towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation, wrench or pliers to turn off utilities, local maps, cell phone with chargers. Also pack prescription medication.
* Flooding - Be aware that flash flooding may occur. Move immediately to higher ground if there is any possibility of a flash flood. Do not walk or drive through moving water. Listen to B101.5 for information.
* Medication and/or Special Needs - Individuals with prescription medication and/or special needs should make provisions for medications that require refrigeration in case they lose power. They should also keep specialized items ready including wheelchair batteries, oxygen, catheters, medication, food for service animals and any other items they might need.
Rappahannock Electric Cooperative’s
REC crews are standing by for the extensive damage expected when Hurricane Sandy blows through the Cooperative’s 22-county service territory.
REC offers the following tips in the event you experience an outage: Call 1-800-552-3904 and follow the voice commands to report your outage. Smartphone users can go to the Outage Center on REC’s mobile website and select the Report Outage option. If you, or a family member, are dependent on electricity-powered medical equipment, take steps now to seek alternative shelter or a source of backup power, as appropriate. Stay away from all power lines that have fallen. Consider all lines energized, as well as trees or limbs in contact with lines. Please report downed power lines to REC and your local police department. If you are using a portable electric generator, do not connect it directly to household wiring. Power from generators can back feed along power lines and electrocute anyone coming in contact with them, including line workers making repairs.
Dominion Virginia Power
For power outages, call 703-335-0500 or 1-888-335-0500 to report outages, or visit www.novec.com if you have access.
For outages, call 1-800-544-5606 to report a strong gas odor. Also call 911 immediately. Leave the building immediately.
Culpeper County officials declared a local state of emergency in preparation for the effects of Hurricane Sandy, which has increased in intensity as it makes landfall. Local officials anticipate significant flooding, downed trees and power outages as a result of this major storm. County and town officials have been making plans since late last week for this potentially damaging storm. The Emergency Operations Center is manned with a basic staff. Additional town and county personnel will be called in to staff the center as conditions warrant.
Spotsylvania County has activated its Emergency Operations Center (EOC) as of 7:00 a.m. this morning. County officials will continue closely monitoring weather conditions and assessing potential impacts as the hurricane approaches and affects this area. The number for the EOC is 540-582-7037
Spotsylvania County has set up informational phone lines for the public to call to find out about Courts closings or delays. Please note: The Courts' schedule is not necessarily the same closing or delay schedule as that of Spotsylvania County government offices. (The County office closing line number is 507-7085.) The County government and Courts systems are independent, with offices and phones located in different buildings. To get information related to closings or delays of the Spotsylvania Circuit Court, the Spotsylvania General District Court, or the Spotsylvania Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court, please complete the following steps:
FIRST, for any Court-related closings/delays: call 507-7498
(You will hear "Express Messaging to Mailbox")
Then, depending on the Court you wish to contact, continue as indicated below:
For Circuit Court, enter 3-9-6-0-#
For General District Court, enter 3-9-6-1-#
For Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court, enter 3-9-6-2-#
If a weather closing or delay message pertaining to the Courts has been entered, you will hear it at that time. Court personnel from each individual Court will enter the information.
Stafford residents can dial 311 or (540) 658-HELP (4357) for non-emergency questions. If anyone has a life-threatening emergency, they need to call 911 immediately.
Water - If residents do not have water available in their homes, they can bring their own containers to any of Stafford’s Fire and Rescue stations and fill up at an outside spigot.
Salem Volunteer Fire Department will open as an emergency shelter. The Red Cross has positioned trailers at the fire company to assist with shelter operations. When the shelter opens, the public will be notified and Red Cross and Culpeper Human Services employees will man the shelter.
King George County
King George opening a shelter at 2:00 p.m. (10/29) at the High School. Only Service Animals are allowed in the shelter. Domestic Animals (Cats/Dogs) will be sheltered in an animal shelter. Please bring bedding (Blankets/Pillows). Please bring any needed medications, baby care items, snacks, and games/activities. Any Questions please call 775-8950
Ferlazzo Building in Woodbridge - This is a pet-friendly shelter. Pets may be brought to the shelter on a leash. They will be housed in kennels onsite. Pet owners will have access to the kennels and must bring pet supplies such as food and medication for their pets. They will be able to walk the pets and have easy access to their pets though the pets will not be allowed in the common area of the shelter. (Service animals are permitted in both shelters and will be allowed with the owner at all times and in all areas to provide the necessary service to the resident.)
Spotsylvania will open an emergency shelter at noon at Thornburg Middle School. The shelter will be staffed by the American Red Cross, Spotsylvania Social Services and Spotsylvania Animal Control. The shelter will remain open as needed. People are advised to bring these items with them: Pillows and blankets, Change of clothing, rain gear and sturdy shoes, IDs and important papers, Games or toys for children, books and reading materials, Special items for infants or elderly family members, Any prescription medications needed, or any OTC medications needed, Toiletries and personal items, Special dietary needs food, and non-perishable snacks.
There will be an area for non-aggressive household pets, no reptiles. People should bring their own pet's kennels/crates, animal food and bowls with them. Spotsylvania Animal Control has a very limited number of crates, available first come, first served. Animals will be kept in an area apart from people. If you bring an animal with you, you will be responsible for taking care of that animal's needs.
Airlines that serve Reagan National and Dulles airports have canceled hundreds of flights in advance of Hurricane Sandy. Travelers are strongly urged to check the status of an individual flight before leaving for the airport. Both Reagan and Dulles will remain open during the storm, but the airlines that serve the DC region are expected to lose a lot of business over the next couple of days.