Householders are being urged to prepare for potential power outages with strong winds expected to hit parts of the state late tonight and into tomorrow.
Weather forecasts are predicting wind gusts of more than 100km/h in parts of central and western Victoria, with strong winds also predicted for the metropolitan region.
The worst of the weather is expected to hit the Powercor network overnight Wednesday and into Thursday morning.
Powercor’s head of network control James Walker said crews worked year-round to ensure the network was as safe and reliable as possible, but extreme weather could cause blackouts.
“Strong winds and extreme weather can knock over trees and blow other debris into powerlines and this can cause faults and outages,” Mr Walker said.
“We understand many people are working and studying from home during these latest COVID-19 restrictions so any power outage is inconvenient.
“We are monitoring this weather front and will have extra crews available to respond quickly if faults do occur.
“Importantly, customers should make sure to stay well away from any fallen powerlines and report them to us straight away.
“We’d also encourage customers to follow a few simple steps ahead of this weather event to make sure they are prepared ahead of an unlikely power outage.”
Even throughout COVID lockdowns, Powercor crews have continued to conduct all critical maintenance and works to ensure the network is in the best shape it can be to handle storm events like the one forecast this week.
Crews have been busy checking, upgrading and replacing equipment, as well as trimming trees as part of annual safety compliance, bushfire mitigation and asset maintenance programs.
The Victorian Government has also provided information about what customers can do if a power outage is impacting their health and safety. This advice is available at www.coronavirus.vic.gov.au/emergencies-and-coronavirus-covid-19#power-outages
How to prepare for power outages
Look after your health
Have a contingency plan ready if you rely on life support equipment or need electrical items to care for babies, the disabled, elderly or pets.
Charge mobile phones and laptop computers
This will ensure you can still communicate with friends and family, get updates about when power will be restored or reach emergency services when needed.
Back up computer files
Make sure important computer-based records for your home, study or work are backed up and if necessary, saved on a storage device kept in a secure location.
Have alternative energy available
Check that any available alternative energy sources for powering water pumps and equipment or cooking, are fuelled and operational. This includes diesel generators, barbecues and battery powered lamps or torches. Make sure you know how to open garage doors and gates manually if they don’t have a battery back-up.
Stay up to date on safety
Check current warnings and updates at emergency.vic.gov.au and download the VicEmergency app. Register for SMS alerts to keep track of the situation. Put together an emergency kit with first-aid items, medications, torches, candles, matches, a portable radio and sturdy gloves, and have all emergency phone numbers handy.
Contact Powercor about fallen powerlines, faults and emergencies on 13 24 12.