Extreme weather prompts message
Extreme weather this winter has led to Powercor calling for Wimmera communities to ensure they prepare for the risk of power outages.
The electricity distribution company reported that from June 1 to July 23, the first half of winter, weather forecasters had issued 191 severe weather warnings.
One circumstance had resulted in power outages for communities across Victoria.
Powercor warned that while most
people associate summer with power outages, the winter experience this year had proven they could happen at any time.
Powercor’s Head of Network Control and Operations George Aspros recommended people be prepared to be resilient to the risk of power outages at any time.
“Powercor is one of the country’s most reliable electricity distribution companies but we cannot control the weather,” he said.
“While we have about 1000 people in crews in 14 depots across Victoria who respond quickly to these events and in all conditions, we encourage customers to be prepared for a loss of electricity.”
Mr Aspros said in extreme weather, people who lost power would cope and recover better if they had: • Charged their phones and laptop computers to ensure they can still communicate with friends and family and get information about service updates. • Checked that any available alternative energy sources such as electricity generators are fuelled and operational. • Withdrawn some cash to pay for food or other supplies given that ATMS and EFTPOS can be affected by electricity outages. • Backed up computer files and records to a storage device or a secure location to assist with business continuity. • Made sure barbeque gas cylinders were full for cooking or boiling water.
He said people, in any conditions should stay well clear of fallen powerlines and report them immediately to Powercor on 13 24 12.
Mr Aspros added anyone relying on life-support or medical help in case of a power outage should ensure they have contingency plans.
Powercor distributes electricity to more than 1.7-million Victorians across the western suburbs of Melbourne and through central and western Victoria to South Australian and New South Wales borders.
It provides electricity via a network comprising more than 85,000 kilometres of wires supported by more than 570,000 poles and other infrastructure.