Severe storms can cause extended outages in any season. Create a backup power plan now to ensure your family’s comfort and safety year-round.
Power interruptions are usually measured in minutes or hours. But when a storm damages infrastructure system-wide, an outage can last for days. No one can predict when the next powerful storm will strike. Forming a backup power plan today will help you weather an extended outage safely.
Your plan can be as simple as making arrangements to stay with a friend or family member (who lives on a different circuit) during an outage.
If friends and family aren’t nearby, look into purchasing a standby generator. Investing in a standby generator is the most reliable way to ensure you always have electricity. In this month’s Health & Safety section, we’ve offered several items you’ll want to consider as you develop your backup power plan.
BEWARE DOWNED LINES
After a storm, be alert for downed power lines. Treat all downed or hanging power lines as if they’re energized. Warn others to stay away and report the location to Southwestern Electric immediately.
The ability to communicate during an outage is vital. A traditional corded phone will usually operate during an outage. A cordless phone with a base which relies on power usually won’t. Keep your cellular phone fully charged and handy when forecasts suggest a storm is likely. If you don’t own a mobile phone, consider buying one with an economy plan to use in emergencies.
Members who depend on electricity for medical reasons should develop a backup power plan now.
Electric pumps mounted to wells won’t function without electricity. If you depend on a well for water, store plenty of extra water in case of a power outage. Water is a key ingredient of your emergency supply kit.
If you already have an emergency supply kit, take a few minutes now to make sure it’s stocked and your supplies are fresh. If you don’t have a kit, spend some time assembling one this week. Your kit should include:
- A three-day supply of water (one gallon per person per day).
- High-calorie, non-perishable food like dried fruit or energy bars.
- A blanket or sleeping bag.
- A change of clothing and footwear per family member.
- A first aid kit, including prescription medicines.
- Emergency tools, including a battery-powered National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) weather radio and portable radio, flashlight, and extra batteries.
- An extra car key and a credit card or cash.
- Any special items needed by an infant, elderly, or disabled family member.
- Telephone numbers for medical emergencies, law enforcement, family members, and friends who may be able to offer assistance.
- Your Southwestern Electric account number and the co-op’s phone number: (800) 637-8667.