Be Prepared – Coping With A Power Outage
Through rain, wind, snow, and ice, URE strives to keep the power on for every home and business in its service area. But sometimes unexpected conditions will cause our electric cooperative members to temporarily lose power. When storms or other circumstances cause an outage, you can rest assured that URE will take immediate action to restore service. Although we work as quickly as possible to get the power back on, there are some steps you can take before, during and after an outage to make it easier to cope.
Confirm the Outage
First, check lights and appliances in other rooms. If you still have power in some areas, most likely a fuse has blown or a circuit breaker has been tripped. If all lights are off, check to see if your neighbor’s lights are also off. This will help URE determine the extent of the outage.
Play it Safe
Never touch downed power lines or anything contacting power lines. Although you may see lines that are down, they could still be energized. Never attempt to move trees from power lines. Let qualified servicemen from your electric cooperative handle the clearing and repair work.
Always have alternate sources of light on hand. It could be a flashlight with extra batteries, candles, kerosene or oil lamps. Keep your alternate light source in an established place where it can be found easily in an outage situation.
Have a battery-powered radio available. The radio, TV, and websites will bring you weather reports, local news bulletins and other important emergency information. During a widespread outage, URE will post our restoration efforts on our social media pages and website.
Stock emergency food and related items along with a manual can opener. Keep your refrigerator/freezer doors closed as much as possible to reduce the chance of food spoilage.
If your water supply comes from a well with an electric water pump, you need to prepare prior to a storm. Sanitize and fill spare containers with water for drinking and cooking. Also, fill your bathtub with water for other uses.
Heat Sources in Winter
When the power goes out, so do most heating systems. If you have a fireplace or wood-burning stove, make sure you keep plenty of wood during the winter. A portable electric generator is another good option for back-up power, as long as it is properly installed and operated.
Protect Your Appliances
Turn off all large appliances that come on automatically and disconnect sensitive equipment such as VCRs, DVD players, stereos, computers and televisions to avoid damage from lightning or a power surge. If all of these appliances were to come back on at once, they might overload your home’s electric circuits. Leave a single lamp turned on to let you know when your electric service has been restored.
Call us directly at (937) 642-1826 to report a natural gas problem.
Be Prepared for Storms
Winter Weather Information: Check out Ready.gov for winter weather tips. If your lights go off during a storm, be prepared for the power outage. Assemble supplies to have on hand rather than rushing around when the storm is coming and waiting in long lines for milk or bread. Rotate your supplies to keep them fresh and use the following checklist to prepare for power outages:
Food & Water
Keep a 3 to 5 day supply of drinking water in plastic bottles. Plan on at least one gallon of water per person, per day.
Store a manual can opener with enough nonperishable foods for three to five days. Canned meats, tuna fish, and peanut butter are good foods to store. Don’t forget pet foods!
Conserve water by using paper plates and plastic utensils.
Have a camp stove or grill for outdoor cooking.
During the Storm
Make sure your cell phone is fully charged.
Have a portable, battery-powered radio and alarm clock.
Have one non-portable phone that will work even if power is interrupted.
Plan where to meet and how to communicate with family members if separated.
Keep essential family member contact information near your phone, in your wallet, and in your glove compartment.
Keep Things Going
Keep plenty of gas in your car.
Keep extra batteries, matches, propane, charcoal, and firewood.
Stay Happy, Healthy, & Warm
Coordinate with neighbors for care of the elderly and disabled living alone.
Maintain a supply of prescriptions, nonprescription drugs, vitamins, and special dietary foods.
Playing cards, books, drawing and writing supplies, and board games help pass the time. If you have a video camera and tapes, your family can make a storm documentary.
Keep sanitary and personal hygiene supplies replenished. Premoistened cleansing towelettes are useful and help conserve water.
Use plastic trash bags and ties for garbage.
Put first-aid kits in your home and car.
Make sure you have cold weather clothing, foul weather gear, blankets, and sleeping bags.
Consider purchasing alternative UL-approved heating devices. For example, a fireplace insert or woodstove will keep the heat in your home instead of up the chimney.
Use flashlights and other battery-operated lighting instead of candles.
Keep fire extinguishers fully charged.
Fill your bathtub with water for bathroom use before the storm (if you have a well).