Unruly Winds Prompt Safety Concerns

First published in the Oct. 15 print issue of the South Pasadena Review.

Strong winds through Southern California this week brought toppled trees and power outages to South Pasadena, as the falling trees took down power lines, blocked roadways and sidewalks and caused other property damage.
The South Pasadena Police Department said it urges people to be mindful that strong winds can turn unsecured objects into dangerous projectiles.

The department offered a series of tips to help residents deal with strong winds:
• Reduce your speed while driving. Winds can make driving difficult, especially driving large vehicles. Keep a safe distance from cars in adjacent lanes as winds can easily push a car outside of its lane.
• With power loss, traffic signals may be non-operational. Remember that nonfunctioning traffic signals should be treated as a four-way stop sign.
• Motorists should be cautious of pedestrians crossing streets, especially with nonfunctioning traffic signals to help pedestrians cross safely.
• Power may be lost at night, so be sure to have a portable radio and flashlight with fresh batteries nearby.
• Small lawn ornaments should be placed inside garages to help prevent them from flying away.
• Consider labeling trash cans with your address should the wind blow them to your neighbor’s yard.
• Don’t leave pets outside during strong winds.
• Strong winds can open unlocked windows and doors. Be sure to close and lock all doors and windows to your home.
• Be sure batteries are replaced for smoke detectors, house alarms and other lifesaving equipment.
• Call 911 to report any downed power line or tree blocking a roadway. Never approach any downed power lines and don’t touch anything the power lines may be touching.
• Register on Nixle (nixle.com) to receive emergency alerts from SPPD.
• Register with Connect South Pasadena (connectsouthpasadena.bbcportal.com) to receive emergency messages from the city.
• Be sure all emergency contact numbers to family members are current.