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Be prepared for Winter's Wrath

Your local electric cooperative strives to provide you with reliable, uninterrupted service every day of the year, but sometimes Mother Nature creates unavoidable power outages. Your electric cooperative wants you to remain safe during severe winter weather, so consider preparing now for the possibility of power outages this winter.

Downed Power pole with ice on itStay away from downed power lines

  • Mother Nature isn’t always kind to power lines. Winter winds, snow and ice often prove to be too much for utility poles and power lines. If you see a downed power line or utility pole, contact your local electric cooperative immediately.

  • Do not go near the line or the pole. Just because it’s on the ground doesn’t mean it’s safe to approach.

To report an outage

  • Because power outages can’t be totally eliminated, your electric cooperative offers these steps to follow if an outage occurs:

  • Confirm the outage. Check your own fuses and circuit breakers first.

  • Check with a neighbor to confirm if he or she is also experiencing an outage before you call the cooperative. This will help your cooperative determine the extent of the outage.

  • Call the cooperative. If the outage is widespread, the phone lines may be busy, but keep trying. Your cooperative will send a line crew to find the problem and restore power as quickly as possible.

  • If you have additional questions about outages, please call your electric cooperative

Operate generator safely

  • If your standby electric generator has been in storage since last winter, make sure it is still operating properly – before an outage occurs.

  • And always follow the manufacturer’s recommendations on how to use your generator. Most important is the transfer switch that disconnects the farm or home from the power line and connects it to the generator. It must be a double-throw transfer switch which prevents the generator from feeding electricity back onto the power line. This protects the lineworkers who may be working to restore your service.

  • If you have additional questions, please call your electric cooperative. We will be glad to work with you to make sure your generator is used properly.

During an outage

  • To prevent an overload on the system while power is being restored, take these steps:

  • Turn off every inside light except one.

  • Turn down your thermostat.

  • If the outage lasts more than 60 minutes, turn off your electric water heater.

  • Make sure your kitchen range is off, both the surface and the oven.

  • Turn off all unnecessary appliances and unplug sensitive electronic equipment.

  • When power comes back on, slowly switch your appliances and lights back on and gradually return your thermostat to its normal setting.