Friday, January 3, 2014

Be ready for extreme cold

Extreme cold coming Sunday night and continuing through Tuesday will be the coldest weather in our service area in nearly two decades. While our energy distribution systems are built to withstand extreme cold, equipment problems, wildlife damage, high winds and other reasons can cause outages at any time of the year. As always, be prepared to stay safe -- especially during severe cold.


Add our numbers to your cell phone:
  • Power outage or electrical emergency: 800-662-4797
  • Gas leak, odor or emergency: 800-261-5325

Assemble an emergency kit and put it where it’s easy to find in the dark. Suggested items:
  • Flashlights and extra batteries
  • Blankets
  • Bottled water — half gallon a day per person
  • Battery-operated radio and extra batteries
  • Canned or dried food and hand-operated can opener
  • First-aid kit
  • Prescription medications
  • Specialty items for infants, seniors or disabled family members
Other considerations:
  • Check on friends, neighbors and relatives, especially seniors or anyone with medical conditions
  • Keep pets safe
  • Keep electronic devices, especially cell phones, charged
  • Find out where area emergency shelters are located should you need to leave your home

Power outages
  • Report and get updates on your outage by calling 800-662-4797
  • Keep refrigerator and freezer doors closed as much as possible
  • Use manual operation of garage door
  • Dress in layers of clothing to stay warm and go to safe shelter if your home becomes extremely cold
  • Use battery-operated lights rather than candles
  • Unplug or turn off appliances to avoid overloading when power is restored
  • Leave a single light on to alert you when power is restored
  • If you are the only home without power, check your breakers or fuses
  • Close blinds or drapes and avoid opening doors to retain heat
  • Use a generator to power your furnace, but use it properly
  • Use a properly vented fireplace or wood-burning stove, if you have one
  • Do not use outdoor grills, kerosene heaters or camping heaters

Natural gas leaks and outages

Natural gas outages are rare; however, equipment failures, digging damage, natural disasters and other causes can disrupt service at any time. Damage meters, corroded appliance connectors and other causes can cause leaks. We add a foul odor to help you detect leaks. If you smell a leak:
  • Leave immediately – do not turn on light switches or use phone.
  • Call us at 800-261-5325 from another location.

Additional winter weather safety resources

American Red Cross
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

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