Be prepared for an outage.
OTEC is very proud of the service we offer our members including 99.94% reliability. Unfortunately, we cannot restrain Mother Nature and the uncontrollable challenges associated with severe weather. Also, occasionally we must perform work that requires our crews to de-energize the lines. In either case, infrequent area outages do happen you should be prepared in either scenario.
What To Do When The Lights Go Out
When inclement weather strikes, the possibility of a power outage increases. Despite any electric utility's best efforts, power outages can happen at any time. To better cope without electricity, make sure your home is equipped with a power outage kit. It should include:
- At least one flashlight and extra batteries.
- Candles and matches, which should only be set on a non-flammable surface.
- A battery-powered radio, to hear reports if the outage is lengthy or associated with another emergency situation.
- Phone numbers for your utility, doctor, fire department and police.
- A telephone connected directly to the jack. Cordless phones rely on electricity and will not operate during an outage.
- A first-aid kit and an ample supply of prescription medications. During a storm, road travel may not be possible for several days.
- Extra blankets, warm clothes and sleeping bags. Wear extra layers of clothes and close off one room for the family to live in, if you are without heat for an extended period.
- Clean drinking water. Fresh water is not always available when the power goes out - especially if you rely on well water obtained by running an electric pump. Have at least one gallon for each person per day. You can fill plastic jugs with water and store them in empty spots in your freezer.
- A manual can opener and nonperishable food, such as crackers, peanut butter, canned meats and dried fruit.
- A cooler for storing frequently used foods. Food will typically keep several hours in a closed refrigerator and up to two days in the freezer. It will spoil more quickly if the door is opened or the refrigerator or freezer is not full.
- Firewood, if you have a fireplace or wood stove.
During an outage, trip the breaker to space and water heaters to avoid damaging the equipment and overloading the system when power is restored. Unplug voltage-sensitive equipment such as computers, televisions, microwaves and VCRs.
When power returns, do not turn everything back on at once. Start with the most essential appliances and wait 10 to 15 minutes before reconnecting the next item. Keep in mind major problems must be repaired first. Repairing the line to your house will do no one - including you - any good if there is still a problem with a substation or a main line that carries power to your area.