Preparing for Power Outage in Fort Hall

Fort Hall –The Department of Public Safety, along with the Tribal Emergency Response Organization, have planned and prepared for an 8-hour scheduled power outage by Idaho Power on Wednesday from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. on Thursday. 
Idaho Power will be updating the service area because the current infrastructure is on the verge of powering down unless critical upgrades are made before warm weather and higher usage occurs.  The impact zone covers 11,492 acres and will be from Sheepskin Road to Tyhee and from I-15 to Hawthorne Road. Within the reservation boundaries there are five districts; the only district affected will be Fort Hill district.
According to Chairman Nathan Small, “We support the collaborative efforts between our utilities and local agencies because power outages are inevitable. The overall goal is to keep our residents safe.”
The power outage has the potential to impact 1,044 residents and businesses in the Fort Hall area.   Due to the impact on people and facilities, the Department of Public Safety is using this outage as an opportunity to assess current capabilities in preparation for extended outages in the future.
 In the event the power outage extends beyond the targeted completion time, a contingency plan has been prepared to maintain continuity of operations for the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes. 
 The public is encouraged to observe the following precautions:
• Phones with answering machines and cordless phones are power-dependent. Have at least one phone that does not require power in case you need to call for assistance. Keep your cell phone powered up.
• Turn off or unplug any appliances, equipment, or electronics you were using when power went out.  When power comes back on surges or spikes may damage equipment.  
•  You may have to turn off the main breaker or have to reset circuit breakers after an outage.
• If you use your fireplace for heat, be responsible. Do not leave an open flame. Make sure you close your fireplace screen to prevent sparks from flying.
• If you use candles for lighting, place them on a fireproof surface.
• Be a good neighbor and check on any neighbors with special needs: elderly people, people with disabilities, and children who are home alone during a power outage. They may need your help.
• Food storage – A full freezer will keep its temperature for about 48 hours.  A half full freezer will keep the temperature for 24 hours if the doors remain closed.  An unopened refrigerator will keep foods cool for about 4 hours.  Food may need to be placed in a cooler with ice.
If you have questions or concerns about the outage, contact Idaho Power at 1-800-488-6151.