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Unison Advises Customers to Prepare for Power Outages

Unison Advises Customers to Prepare for Power Outages

Wednesday 19 June 2013 – Electricity distributor Unison Networks is advising its customers to prepare for power outages, with high winds and snow forecast for Thursday and Friday.

The Metservice has issued an advisory stating strong, cold southerlies are expected over parts of the North Island, with possible snow falls on the Central Plateau.

“Snowfall has the potential to cause power outages. The weight of snow build-up on overhead power lines, and on adjacent trees, becomes a risk to power lines.  And with the additional threat of strong winds, we want to ensure all our customers are prepared in case of power cuts during this extreme weather event,” said Unison Group Chief Executive Ken Sutherland.

Mr Sutherland said Unison’s first priority would be to restore any power outages as quickly as possible, but restricted access and treacherous working conditions could delay efforts.

Advice to Customers
·         Remember that if the electricity network is damaged, it might take a number of hours to get reconnected, so make sure you have a battery operated radio, a torch, spare batteries, and a full gas bottle for your BBQ or portable gas cooker as part of your emergency kit.
·         Prepare an alternative heating source, such as a wood fire or portable gas heater.  If you don’t have an alternative, ensure you have plenty of warm clothes and blankets or consider staying with family or friends with heating.
During power outages, Unison regularly advises the following safety precautions:
·         Check for fallen or damaged electricity lines. Never touch wires or lines lying on the ground, over fences, hanging from poles, or objects such as tree branches that may be touching them. Fallen lines or wires may still be carrying an electrical current and could shock, injure or even kill if touched.
·         Turn off the power at the main switch if you suspect any low power or a damaged supply to your home. If the power goes out, turn off electrical appliances, but leave one light on to indicate when the electricity supply is restored.


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