What To Do When The Power Goes Out
Power outages in Clark County do not last more than a few hours, but occasionally they can last much longer. Clark Public Utilities provides up to date outage and safety information at https://www.clarkpublicutilities.com/outages-safety/. The map will show where electrical outages are in Clark County and approximately how many customers are being affected. All utility employees are remote so outages affect our customer service and administrative staff. We understand firsthand the challenges of losing power as we coordinate working and schooling students from home. We will restore power as quickly as is safely possible.
When Your School Is Out of Power – Or Online Learning Is Impacted
Each school district within Clark County will have a response plan for power outages and with these tips outages do not have to be the next snow day during online learning.
A cell phone is one of the most important items to keep charged during an outage. Cell phones are essential for communication, receiving emergency alerts, Candy Crush, online learning, zoom meetings and so much more. The cell phone battery can be conserved by doing the following:
- Turn off WiFi, Bluetooth and GPS
- Reduce the brightness of the screen
- Use “Low Power” mode
- Sent text messages instead of calling
- Turn off vibrate
- Close non-essential applications
- Turn sound levels to low
- Keep the phone off when it is not needed
Laptops and tablets are also important for online learning. Both can charge a cell phone with a USB charging cable, but how do we keep them charged in a power outage?
- Portable Power Bank – this can be purchased at many local stores and online retailers. The higher the milli Ampere hour (mAh) the higher the capacity. Most iPhones have a mAh (battery capacity) of about 1500-3000, so a power bank with at least 5000-10000 mAh would work well for emergencies.
- Car Battery/Inverter – newer cars often have a USB charging port inside. Some of these ports do not require the engine to be running when charging devices. Other vehicles will need a car adapter for the cigarette lighter. Depending on the age and quality of the car battery it should be able to charge devices multiple times.
- Be careful not to drain the car battery
- Do not turn the engine on and idle in the garage or other enclosed spaces – even if the garage door is open – this will help to avoid carbon monoxide hazards
- Do not leave the vehicle unattended
- Hand Crank Radio – not only will a hand crank radio bring you information and alerts about the emergency, some provide a USB port to charge devices. Hand crank radios can also have multiple options for power (crank, battery, and solar) and come with a flashlight for added safety.
- Flashlights – even flashlights are being manufactured with USB ports to aid in charging devices. Keep the batteries handy since this method tends to gobble up the electrons quickly.
- Battery Operated Charger – similar to the flashlight chargers, this method will require a supply of batteries. Look for a charger that can use rechargeable batteries and save this method for smaller devices.
- Solar Charger/Generator – many of the outages in Clark County happen due to wind and inclement weather. If the outage lasts into the daylight a solar charger may be an option for small devices. Solar chargers and generators can take a while to charge any devices and often are not large enough for items requiring a lot of power.
Storms and power outages impact areas of Clark County differently. Sometimes one school can be experiencing a power outage while another is fully functional. If your household is without power and WiFi, remember to call the school’s attendance line and report your student absent.
During any emergency it is best to know your school district’s plans by signing up for emails and text alerts. Most districts will also publish updates to social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.
- Evergreen School District: Communicates through emails, phone calls, text messages, Facebook and the FlashAlert system https://sites.google.com/evergreenps.org/district-alerts/district-alerts
- School attendance lines: https://sites.google.com/evergreenps.org/home/schools
- Vancouver School District: Communicates through emails, phone calls, text messages and the mobile app from the Apple App Store or Google Play Store and the FlashAlert system https://www.flashalert.net/id/VancouverSchDist
- Camas School District: Communicates through emails, phone call, text messages, Facebook and the FlashAlert system https://www.flashalert.net/id/CamasSD
- Washougal School District: Communicates through phone calls, Facebook, and the Flash Alert system http://www.flashalert.net/news.html?id=28
- Ridgefield School District: Communicates through its broadcast phone or text message system and the FlashAlert system https://www.flashalert.net/id/RidgefieldSD
- Battle Ground School District: Communicates through emails, phone calls and the Flash Alert system https://www.flashalert.net/id/BattleGroundPS School attendance lines https://www.battlegroundps.org/school-directory/
- Green Mountain School District: Communicates through the FlashAlert system https://www.flashalert.net/id/GMSD
- Hockinson School District: Communicates through the FlashAlert system https://www.flashalert.net/id/HockinsonSchDist
- La Center School District: Communicates through the FlashAlert system https://www.flashalert.net/id/LaCenterSD
- WA School for the Blind: Communicates through multiple methods and the FlashAlert system https://www.flashalert.net/id/WASchoolfortheBlind
- WA School for the Deaf: Communicates through multiple methods and the FlashAlert system https://www.flashalert.net/id/WASchoolfortheDeaf
- Early Care & Education – [email protected] 112: Communicates through multiple methods and the FlashAlert system https://www.flashalert.net/id/ECE
- ESD112: Communicates through multiple methods and the FlashAlert system https://www.flashalert.net/id/ESD112
- The Columbian will provide updates for the county through social media and their webpage https://www.columbian.com/