Power Outage/Emergency Preparedness

Power Outage/Emergency Preparedness

Don't get caught in the dark without a plan.

Sudden power outages and disasters can occur without warning. They can be frustrating and troublesome, especially if they last for a long time. For prolonged power outages, follow the steps below to keep the members of your household as comfortable as possible until the situation is resolved. 

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September is National Preparedness Month to raise awareness about the importance of preparing for disasters and emergencies that could happen at any time. The 2023 theme is “Take Control in 1,2,3”.

Week 1 - September 3-9: Build A Kit  www.ready.gov/kit

After an emergency, you may need to survive on your own for several days. Being prepared means having your own food, water, and other supplies. A disaster supply kit is a collection of basic items your household may need in the event of an emergency. Don’t forget to consider the unique needs each person or pet may have in case you have to evacuate quickly.

Create or update your emergency supplies with this list: www.ready.gov/kit.

Week 2 - September 10-16: Make A Plan www.ready.gov/plan

Make a plan today. Your family may not be together if a disaster strikes, so it is important to know which types of disasters could affect your area. Know how you’ll contact one another and reconnect if separated. Establish a family meeting place that’s familiar and easy to find.

As you prepare your plan, tailor your plans and supplies to your specific daily living needs and responsibilities. Discuss your needs and responsibilities and how people in the network can assist each other with communication, taking care of children, business, pets, or specific needs like operating medical equipment. Create your own personal network for specific areas where you need assistance. Download free, printable forms at www.ready.gov/plan.

Week 3 - September 17-23: Protect Family & Property www.ready.gov/be-informed

Natural disasters don’t wait for a convenient time. Preparing for them shouldn’t wait either. Start today by signing up for alerts, safe-guarding important documents, and taking other low cost and no cost preparedness actions to lessen the impact of disasters and emergencies for you and your family.

Drills aren’t just for the toolbox. Practice emergency drills with your family regularly and visit www.ready.gov/be-informed to download free preparedness products to help your family plan and prepare for an emergency.

Week 4 - September 24-30: Teach Youth About Preparedness www.ready.gov/kids

Being prepared for disasters starts at home. Everyone can be part of helping to prepare for emergencies. Young children and teens alike can be a part of the process. As a parent, guardian, or other family member, you have an important role to play when it comes to protecting the children in your life and helping them be prepared in case disaster strikes.

Talk to your kids about preparing for emergencies and what to do in case you are separated. Use the resources at: www.ready.gov/kids to help with the conversation. Many parents aren’t familiar with their child’s school evacuation & reunification plans. Are you?

Disasters Don’t Plan Ahead, But You Can! 



Here are a few emergency supplies you should have:

  • Three-day supply of drinking water
  • Non-perishable food that is easy to prepare
  • Radio, battery-powered or hand-crank
  • Flashlights and fresh batteries
  • First aid kit
  • Whistle
  • Manual can opener
  • Moist towelettes, garbage bags, and plastic ties for personal sanitation
  • Extra blankets and warm clothing, including a hat
  • Sleeping bags
  • Clock, battery-powered or wind-up
  • Any special medications you may need.
  • If you have pets, food and water for them.
  • Cash
  • A plastic tub or backpack so you can keep these things together.
  • Don’t forget where you store it.
  • Check out the FEMA Emergency Supply List.
  • Check out the Red Cross Emergency Kit website.


Disasters don't plan ahead. You can!

  • Make an emergency plan today - Your family may not be together if a disaster strikes, so it is important to know which types of disasters could affect your area. Know how you’ll contact on another and reconnect if separated. Establish a family meeting place that’s familiar and easy to find. As you prepare your plan, tailor your plans and supplies to your specific daily living needs and responsibilities. Download and fill out a family emergency plan or use it as a guide to create your own. Be sure to practice your plan with your family and/or household.

  • Help neighbors -  Check on your neighbors, almost half of Americans expect to rely on their neighbors after a disaster. Your neighbor might have to rely on you, will you be ready? Learn skills you need to help yourself and others until help can arrive. Take the training Until Help Arrives.

Visit the following links to learn more:



Hazards most likely to hit this region:






Know how to access community resources

  • The quickest, easiest, and most efficient way to report a power outage is on our SmartHub app. Download it and setup an account today. Click the links below, or visit my.PUD3.org for the web-version. 

Available on iOS / iPhone Available on Android




Power Outage Tips

  • During an outage, open the refrigerator and freezer doors as seldom as possible. Don’t leave them open very long. Food will stay frozen for about 72 hours in an unopened, non-operating freezer.

  • If you have an emergency heating source, learn how to use it properly to prevent fire and ensure proper ventilation.
  • Learn about PUD 3 generator safety.
  • Report downed power lines. (360) 426-8255 or call 911.
  • Turn off or disconnect appliances, equipment, or electronics. Keep them turned off until 20 minutes after power has been restored.
  • Track the outage using PUD 3's SmartHub app.
  • Leave one light turned on so you will know when power is restored.
  • Don't approach crews in the field. For your safety and theirs, please keep a safe distance and contact our offices for questions or concerns. 

Getting the power back on safely takes planning. From day one, we create detailed plans for how to safely restore power in a variety of events. We plan how crews will be deployed, how information will be shared with customers, and when to call for additional help.

Here's how it works:


During and after a storm, PUD crews de-energize downed lines and safely assess other damaged parts of the system to reduce potential dangers.


High-voltage transmission towers and lines seldom fail but can be damaged by severe wind or flooding. One line can serve tens of thousands of people. If one of these lines is damaged, the focus is to restore it first. 


PUD crews check distribution substations, which can serve several thousand homes and businesses, to see if a major outage is occurring because of a problem at the substation or with the transmission line coming into the facility. 


Main distribution lines carry power from substations to a central point in a neighborhood. When power is restored on these lines, whole neighborhoods may see the lights come back on as long as there are no problems further down the line. 


Local distribution lines carry electricity to transformers serving one to several homes or businesses. Crews work on these lines after repairs to the main distribution lines and prioritize locations to get the largest number of customers back in service. Secondary service lines run from transformers to individual homes. These lines are typically the last to be restored during storm events.


Once power is restored, the recovery plan is assessed to identify parts of the system that may benefit from upgrades or enhancements to reduce the likelihood of damage in the future. 


Ever wonder what happens during a power outage? The PUD 3 Outage map allows you to follow the status of an outage in your area from the time the outage is reported to the time power is fully restored. View the PUD 3 outage map here.

Here's how it works:


PUD 3 is notified of an outage by our advanced metering system. Alerts are relayed back to our 24/7 dispatch via the fiber network. Customers also report outages using the SmartHub app, or by calling us. 


The PUD sends lineman to investigate the outage. Often times power can be restored quickly. But when lines or poles are damaged, a full crew must be dispatched for additional work.


If a full line crew is needed for the repair, one is assigned as quickly as possible. During a storm, this can take longer if crews are already responding to other outages. 


Once assigned, the crew travels to the location and begins work. The time it takes to restore power can vary greatly based on the severity of damage.


PUD 3 field staff and crews will work around the clock in all weather conditions until power is restored to every customer, often spending days away from their own homes and families. 


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