How to stay warm and safe during this week’s cold and icy weather

SEATTLE -- If you lose the power and heat in your home during this cold spell, there a few things you can do to stay warm and safe.

More snow, ice and frigid temperatures are on the way across the Puget Sound, and if you haven’t already, now is the time to get prepared for the unexpected.

“One of the things that we do recommend is that people not use any type of grills or use their stoves as a heating source, especially with gas because of the carbon monoxide poisoning. If they have a generator, make sure that they use that outside and not inside of the home,” said Andrew Padula, a spokesperson for Puget Sound Energy.

PSE says it’s always a good idea to stay with family and friends or find a warming shelter until you can get the heat and power back on in your home.

“If they don’t have the essentials that they need to try to stay warm, if there’s no fire place or anything like that, try to find a place where they can stay warm, especially on these cold nights where we’re going to be hitting the teens,” Padula said.

Heavy snow and ice can also bring down trees and power lines, making any cold weather situation even more dangerous.

“So we asked that people stay at least 35 feet away from any type of downed line and then call law enforcement or call us at PSE, so we can determine what to do next because potentially the lines could be energized and we want to make sure no one gets hurt," Padula said.

PSE’s outage map says more than 3,000 of its customers have no power because of the snow storm, many of them in Whatcom County.

“Our crews have been working around the clock to get the power back up and we’re working as quickly and safely as we can,” Padula said.

PSE also says if you lose power in your home, you should use flashlights and not candles, which can lead to accidental fires.

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