NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – The Public Service Company of New Mexico is offering tips to New Mexicans ahead of high winds coming to the state. The company warns unsafe conditions can occur around power lines.

They say to plan accordingly to stay safe:

  • Wind may blow tree branches or other objects into powerlines. Don’t remove anything from the power lines. Stay away and call 888-DIAL-PNM.
  • Avoid downed or sagging power lines and consider them and anything touching them, energized and dangerous. Stay as far away from the scene as possible and immediately contact PNM.
  • If a power line falls across a vehicle that you are in, stay in the car, if possible. Call 911 and wait until first responders and PNM can work together to clear the scene.

Even in non-high-wind conditions, there are some things to keep in mind with power lines.

  • Always fly kites, drones, and model aircraft in open areas, away from power poles, overhead power lines, and substations.
  • Never attempt to retrieve a kite or device that is caught in a power line or that falls into a substation.
  • Keep metallic party balloons indoors as they can cause fires and power outages if released into the air.

In a storm, PNM suggests having an outage kit at your home or business. Specialty items – such as prescription drugs, baby food, pet food, and additional warm clothing – should be included.

  • Keep a portable radio or TV on hand to monitor official weather forecasts.
  • Have a backup plan to move yourself and your family, especially those with medical needs, to an alternate location in case you have to evacuate or experience an extended power outage.
  • Learn how to use your emergency heating or power source ahead of storm season.
  • During a power outage, don’t open freezers and refrigerators any more than absolutely necessary as opening these appliances will allow food to thaw more quickly.
  • During severe weather or power outages, turn off as many appliances and electronics as possible. After power is restored, to help avoid damage, wait around 10 minutes before turning them back on.
  • Make sure you have alternative charging methods for your phone or any device that requires power.
  • Know where the manual release lever of your electric garage door opener is located and how to operate it.
  • Keep at least half a tank of gas in your car. Gas stations require electricity to power their pumps.

The Red Cross also has a power outage checklist on its website to aid in a power outage.