April 20, 2004

ROSEMEAD, Calif., April 20, 2004 -- April is Earthquake Preparedness Month and before mother nature shakes things up again, Southern California Edison (SCE) is reminding its customers to follow these important safety tips should a temblor strike:

  • If you see a power line on the ground, don’t touch it, whether it’s sparking or not. Call SCE immediately at (800) 611-1911 for assistance.
  • If an earthquake causes a power outage, do not use candles for lighting since they create a fire hazard. Use flashlights instead.
  • Do not use outdoor cooking equipment inside your home.  Such equipment – including charcoal and gas grills – can emit toxic gases like carbon monoxide, which can be deadly.
  • Strapping your water heater to a wall may prevent it from falling or moving during an earthquake. Materials to secure your water heater can be found in local home improvement outlets.
  • Have emergency supplies on hand like a battery-powered radio, extra batteries, nonperishable foods, bottled water and a first-aid kit that includes your family’s medications and special items for infant, elderly or disabled family members.  You should consider having emergency supplies that will last up to 72-hours.
  • If you have an electric generator that is, or can be connected to your electrical or utility wiring, state law requires that you notify SCE of its location. If you use a generator, operate it only outdoors in a well-ventilated area.  Do not connect it to your household circuits since doing so creates “backfeed” which is dangerous to SCE repair crews.  Instead, plug individual appliances directly into the generator, using a heavy-duty extension cord.  If your generator is permanently hooked up to your home current, disconnect the main breaker before using the generator.  To notify SCE that you have an electric generator, please call (800) 655-4555 and request an Electric Generator Notification Card.

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An Edison International company, Southern California Edison is one of the nation’s largest electric utilities, serving a population of more than 12 million via 4.5 million customer accounts in a 50,000-square-mile service area within central, coastal and Southern California.  For more information on the California electricity market, see www.sce.com.