Householders are being urged to prepare for potential power outages with strong winds expected to hit Melbourne’s south-east and the Mornington Peninsula tonight and into tomorrow.
Weather forecasts are predicting wind extreme gusts approaching 100km/h in the United Energy network area, with the worst of the weather expected to hit overnight Wednesday and into Thursday morning.
United Energy’s Emergency Duty Manager George Tziokas said UE and its partners work year-round to ensure the network is as safe and reliable as possible, but extreme weather can cause blackouts.
“Strong winds and extreme weather can knock over trees and blow other debris into powerlines and this can cause faults and outages,” Mr Tziokas said.
“We understand many people are working and studying from home during these latest COVID-19 restrictions so any power outage is inconvenient.
“We are monitoring this weather front and will have fault crews available to respond quickly if faults do occur.
“Importantly, customers should make sure to stay well away from any fallen powerlines and report them to us straight away.”
“We’d also encourage customers to follow a few simple steps ahead of this weather event to make sure they are prepared ahead of an unlikely power outage.”
Even throughout COVID lockdowns, United Energy has continued to conduct all critical maintenance and works to ensure the network is in the best shape it can be to handle storm events like the one forecast this week.
Crews have been busy checking, upgrading and replacing equipment, as well as trimming trees as part of annual safety compliance, bushfire mitigation and asset maintenance programs.
The Victorian Government has also provided information about what customers can do if a power outage is impacting their health and safety. This advice is available at https://www.coronavirus.vic.gov.au/emergencies-and-coronavirus-covid-19#power-outages
How to Prepare for Power Outages
Look after your health
Have a contingency plan ready if you rely on life support equipment or need electrical items to care for babies, the disabled, elderly or pets.
Charge mobile phones and laptop computers
This will ensure you can still communicate with friends and family, get updates about when power will be restored or reach emergency services when needed.
Withdraw some cash
ATMs and EFTPOS can be affected by electricity outages so have some money available to pay for food or other supplies if need be.
Back up computer files
Make sure important computer-based records for your home, study or work are backed up and if necessary, saved on a storage device kept in a secure location.
Have alternative energy available
Check that any available alternative energy sources for powering water pumps and equipment or cooking, are fuelled and operational. This includes diesel generators, BBQs and battery powered lamps or torches. Make sure you know how to open garage doors and gates manually if they don’t have a battery back-up.
Stay up to date on safety
Check current warnings and updates at emergency.vic.gov.au and download the VicEmergency app. Register for SMS alerts to keep track of the situation. Put together an emergency kit with first-aid items, medications, torches, candles, matches, a portable radio and sturdy gloves, and have all emergency phone numbers handy.
Contact us about faults and emergencies Call United Energy on 13 20 99.
Source: United Energy 9 June 2021