ATLANTA — In addition to icy and slick roads, the next biggest threat for Georgia families could face during this storm are power outages. Georgia's largest power company is hoping for the best but planning for the worst-case scenario.
Georgia Power crews are spending Friday finishing out as many previous work orders as possible so this weekend all hands are on deck with plenty of utility crews on standby.
"We have teams that are monitoring the weather and staying in close contact with the National Weather Service," Georgia Power spokesperson Adrienne Tickle said.
With its eye on the forecast and its crews in the field, Georgia Power said it is prepared for whatever the weather brings.
"We also have crews on standby right now, we are preparing our teams, we are anticipating winter weather this weekend. Whether that’s snow, whether it’s high winds that bring down trees, whether that’s ice, whatever it may be," Tickle said.
Tickle said Georgia Power can do everything in their power to help residents, but it will be up to families to make sure they're prepared too.
"Some of the things our customers can do for preparedness is ensuring they have an emergency kit," Tickle said.
She recommends families should have an emergency kit with:
- Nonperishable food
- Extra batteries in various sizes
- Portable charger for your cell phone
Tickle said people should have enough of these items to last for three days. For those with a non-gas heating system, here are a few ways to keep your home warm if the power goes out.
- Close off rooms to avoid losing heat- close curtains and blinds
- Stuff rugs or towels under door cracks
- Layer up with loose-fitting clothes
- Eat food and drink water to stay hydrated but avoid caffeine and alcohol
Officials also want to remind people to not leave candles unattended. For those with a generator, be sure to follow its instructions. People can also look at Georgia Power's outage map.
For people in far northeast Georgia where the temps may be colder – frozen pipes may also be a small concern.
To keep pipes from bursting:
- Open kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors to allow warm air to circulate around the pipes.
- Leave a trickle of water running
- Set your thermostat to no lower than 55 degrees.
- Disconnect all hoses and insulate outside faucets.
- Foam covers are often easy to use, inexpensive, and can be reused them for a few seasons.
Georgia Power also said many of its employees are still working remotely. In the event of a power outage, they understand the extra importance of getting things back online as quickly as possible and they are prepared for that. Remember to download the 11Alive app ahead of the storm so if your power goes out – you can still get updates.