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How to Prepare for a Hanford Blackout: Lightning Strike Causes Blackout in Hanford



How to Prepare for a Hanford Blackout: Lightning Strike Causes Blackout in Hanford – August 20, 2013

Our community experienced a huge blackout Monday August 19, 2013.  The Hanford Blackout was also experienced by others in our community including Visalia, Tulare, Farmersville and more who were also impacted by a lightning strike that sent 24,000 kings county homes into darkness.  The power outage in Hanford was described by the Hanford Sentinel below:

Hanford Blackout – Hanford Sentinel: “Lightning Strike Causes 24,000 Kings County Homes to go Dark”

“HANFORD — About 24,000 Kings County homes were plunged into darkness Monday night after a transformer bank at a Southern California Edison substation in Visalia was struck by lightning, interrupting power to 120,000 customers.

Homes went dark between 7 and 7:15 p.m. Monday. More than 19,000 Hanford homes and more than 4,000 homes in unincorporated areas such as Armona and Home Garden were impacted, according to the SCE website.”

Hanford Blackout article Hanford Sentinel:  Click Here for Hanford Sentinel Article Link




Hanford Blackout – How to prepare for a Blackout

A Premier website for all blackout preparation and resources is Fema.  They provide guidance for before, during, and after blackouts and emergencies.  Click Here for Fema Link

We will summarize from Fema’s website and other sources below.

Before a Blackout: 4 Steps to Prepare for the next Hanford Blackout

1) Build an Emergency Kit

Food, Water, and Supplies to last at least 72 hours. 

  • Water, one gallon of water per person per day for at least three days, for drinking and sanitation
  • Food, at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food
  • Battery-powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert and extra batteries for both
  • Flashlight and extra batteries
  • First aid kit
  • Whistle to signal for help
  • Dust mask to help filter contaminated air and plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelter-in-place
  • Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation
  • Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
  • Manual can opener for food
  • Local maps
  • Cell phone with chargers, inverter or solar chargerSupplies include:

2) Build an Emergency or Blackout First Aid Kit

Fema lists the following:

  • Two pairs of Latex or other sterile gloves if you are allergic to Latex
  • Sterile dressings to stop bleeding
  • Cleansing agent/soap and antibiotic towelettes
  • Antibiotic ointment
  • Burn ointment
  • Adhesive bandages in a variety of sizes
  • Eye wash solution to flush the eyes or as general decontaminant
  • Thermometer
  • Prescription medications you take every day such as insulin, heart medicine and asthma inhalers. You should periodically rotate medicines to account for expiration dates.
  • Prescribed medical supplies such as glucose and blood pressure monitoring equipment and supplies
  • Non-prescription drugs:
  • Aspirin or non-aspirin pain reliever
  • Anti-diarrhea medication
  • Antacid
  • Laxative
  • Other first aid supplies:
  • Scissors
  • Tweezers
  • Tube of petroleum jelly or other lubricant”

American Red Cross First Aid and Disaster Preparedness backpack kits links: http://www.redcrossstore.org/home

3) Other Tips for Preparing for a Blackout

  • Keep several flashlights and batteries (a “shake it” flashlight does not need batteries)
  • Fill plastic containers with water and place them in the refrigerator and freezer if there’s room. Leave about an inch of space inside each one, because water expands as it freezes. will help keep food cold during a temporary power outage, by displacing air that can warm up quickly with water or ice that keeps cold for several hours without additional refrigeration.
  • Be aware that most medication that requires refrigeration can be kept in a closed refrigerator for several hours without a problem. If unsure, check with your physician or pharmacist.  An ice chest and ice packs can be used to transport medications to a family member or friends house in a prolonged blackout.
  • Keep your car tank at least half full because gas stations rely on electricity to power their pumps.
  • Know where the manual release lever of your electric garage door opener is located and how to operate it. Garage doors can be heavy, so know that you may need help to lift it.
  • Keep a key to your house with you if you regularly use the garage as the primary means of entering your home, in case the garage door will not open.
  • If you want to have a backup generator, make sure it is installed by a licensed electrician. Check with your local building department to see if a permit is needed. Make sure the system has an automatic breaker that disconnects the house from the power company’s regular electricity lines when it is running. This prevents electricity from leaking back into the grid and making it dangerous for utility workers.


4) Make a Family Communications Plan

Keep the emergency number for your electric utility available

Family Communication Tips from Fema:

“Identify a contact such as a friend or relative who lives out-of-state for household members to notify they are safe. It may be easier to make a long-distance phone call than to call across town, so an out-of-town contact may be in a better position to communicate among separated family members.

Be sure every member of your family knows the phone number and has a cell phone, coins or a prepaid phone card to call the emergency contact. If you have a cell phone, program that person(s) as “ICE” (In Case of Emergency) in your phone. If you are in an accident, emergency personnel will often check your ICE listings in order to get a hold of someone you know. Make sure to tell your family and friends that you’ve listed them as emergency contacts.

Teach family members how to use text messaging (also known as SMS or Short Message Service). Text messages can often get around network disruptions when a phone call might not be able to get through.”

Hanford Community Preparation

This is not the first Hanford blackout that lasted an extended time.  Be wise and get your family prepared for the next Hanford blackout.  Preparation will increase your chances of safety and health.  Lets realize that emergencies and Hanford blackouts will occur and prepare today.




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