BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — As we get closer to winter, the weather is definitely changing.

Starting tonight and continuing over the weekend, rain is supposed to move into the area. Also beware of high winds.

Blackouts, felled tree branches and downed power lines due to weather can be a problem for many, especially as temperatures continue to drop.

First: Don’t call 9-1-1. Well, call 9-1-1 only under certain circumstances. Robert Pair with the Bakersfield Police Department told 17 News you should call 9-1-1 if there are downed trees or power lines across the roads or if they are trapping you in some way, or if you are in immediate danger or a life-threatening situation.

In a non-emergency situation, avoid calling 9-1-1. This can clog up the emergency line and may prevent people experiencing emergencies from getting through. Instead, try calling one of these non-emergency line to report a problem.

Here are some tips to prepare for potential power outages ahead of time from Pacific Gas and Electric:

  • Double check your generator. When using a generator, make sure they’ve been properly installed in well-ventilated area. If using a portable generator, make sure it is set up in a well-ventilated area.
  • Beware of downed power lines. Always assume a downed power line is active. Report downed power lines by calling 9-1-1 and then PG&E at 1-800-743-5002.
  • Use flashlights, not candles. Candles pose a fire hazard. Also, have backup batteries on hand.
  • Have a backup phone handy. If your phone line is down, make sure to have a fully charged portable or cell phone on hand. Fully charged portable chargers also help.
  • Have fresh drinking water and prepare ice. Freeze plastic containers ahead of time that can be used in your refrigerator to prevent food spoilage.
  • Turn off appliances. During an outage, unplug or turn off all appliances to avoid overloading circuits and prevent fire hazards. Turn on appliances one by one after conditions return to normal.