The information below will help to minimize the inconvenience and danger of severe weather as well as provide you updated information regarding service restoration in the event of severe weather or other emergency situation. You can also check the National Weather Service page and the FEMA page for weather updates.
How We Prepare
With assistance from local and online weather services, we constantly monitor weather in our service areas. Once it is likely that severe weather is imminent, Our teams put storm-preparedness plans into action.
We work closely with cities and towns we serve well in advance of a storm or hurricane to ensure lines of communication are open. Additional line crews throughout our footprint are also placed on standby should they be needed. We engage mutual assistance providers and third party crews that are alerted and placed on standby status.
In the event of other emergency situations, we have pre-established lines of communication with federal, state and local officials.
Our computerized control system is capable of providing us with early notification of a large power outage. We also receive reports from public safety agencies and local police and fire departments.
Our computer system allows our network specialists to analyze our network to pinpoint specific areas where services may be out due to downed power lines, etc.
We are committed to constant communication with government representatives, town officials and media resources throughout any outage; therefore you may be able to receive updated information through your battery-operated radio.
With the first initial warnings of an approaching hurricane or storm, there are a few things you can do to prepare:
- Stock up on non-perishables, such as canned goods, and make sure you have adequate medical supplies and prescriptions.
- Keep areas surrounding electrical service equipment clear.
- Turn the temperature controls on your refrigerator and freezer to the coldest setting to keep food cold in the event of a power outage. Don't forget to reset controls to the normal setting after the storm.
- Fill several large containers and the bathtub with water.
- Keep flashlights, batteries, candles and matches on hand.
- Fill your car with gasoline.
- Stay tuned to local weather forecasts for storm updates and have a battery-powered radio available.
Emergency supplies should be stored in an easy to reach area. These include:
- Emergency food
- Flashlights: have several and place them throughout the house
- Portable, battery-operated radio
- Fresh batteries of the correct size for flashlights and radio
- Manual can opener
- First aid kit
- Water for drinking, cooking and flushing
- Pet food
If a severe weather or hurricane warning is put into place and the storm becomes imminent, take the following precautions:
- Tape, board or shutter windows and glass doors.
- Secure all outdoor objects that could become airborne during high winds.
- Tie down mobile homes or moored boats or move them to a safe location.
- Wedge sliding glass doors to prevent them from lifting from their tracks.
- Load a cooler with ice and food you can use during the first hours of an outage.
- In winter, close off unused rooms to conserve heat. Open curtains and shades to let sunlight in. Close them at night. Stock up on firewood.
- Leave your home if authorities order an evacuation, especially if your home is in an area that floods easily.
If you experience a service interruption please:
- Stay clear of all fallen tree limbs and electrical wires as well as anything they are touching, such as puddles and metal fences. Assume all downed wires are "live" and stay away. Call your local power company and local emergency personnel.
- Persons dependent on electrically powered life support systems should have a prearranged plan concerning power outage situations.
- Prepare a list of emergency phone numbers and have it readily available.
- Disconnect appliances that will go on automatically when the power is restored. These include refrigerators, stoves, furnaces and water heaters.
- It is always wise to unplug computers and sensitive electronic devices including those connected to surge protectors during a storm that downs power lines.
- Turn off appliances such as washers, dryers, computers and TV's. Once power is restored, turn appliances back on one at a time to avoid a power surge.
- If using candles or matches, be extremely careful and never leave open flames unattended.
- Food in your refrigerator will keep for 6 to 9 hours and food in your freezer will keep between 36 and 48 hours. It will help to minimize the number of times the door is opened.
After severe weather has passed, take the following steps and precautions:
- Stay clear of all fallen tree limbs and electrical wires as well as anything they are touching, such as puddles and metal fences.
- If a power line has fallen on the car you're in, remain in the car until help arrives. Don't attempt to pull away. Call 911 for help.
- Notify local fire, police, and electric utility officials about downed power lines.
- Do not enter damaged buildings with flame lanterns, candles or lit cigarettes because there may be gas leaks.
- If possible, stay off the road. If you have to drive, watch out for trees and wires in the roadway. Do not drive across a downed power line. Treat all nonworking traffic lights as stop signs and proceed cautiously at intersections.
- Try to keep people and traffic away from downed power lines until officials arrive.
What should I do when my power goes out?
First, make sure the switches of your circuit breaker are all in the on position or that you haven't blown any fuses. If everything appears to be fine, contact your local power company.
What should I do when my services go out?
Verify that your electricity is working. If there is a power outage, your services should come back on soon after the power is restored to your home. If they don't, check outside to verify that the drop line from your house to the pole at the street is still intact. If it has come down, call us to report a downed drop line. If the drop line is in place, try re-booting your equipment (cable box, internet modem, phone modem) by unplugging the device, waiting for 30 seconds and plugging it back in. If that doesn't work, contact us.
Why don't I see your crews working on my street?
Because of our system's design, your outage might not necessarily be caused by storm damage problems on your street, or even a nearby street. Even if you don't see our crews or vehicles working near your home, we're working hard to have your services restored as quickly as possible, and is coordinating restoration efforts with the power companies.
I saw your truck but it's gone now. My services have not been restored. Is somebody coming back?
During emergency situations, we often send out a special crew to find out exactly where the problem is, what kind of work needs to be performed and, most importantly, to make sure the area is safe. We then coordinate with the power companies to make sure the right type of crew is sent to the scene to do the necessary repair work. Also, keep in mind we might find the source of the problem affecting your home is in an area not near your home.
What might cause a delay in restoring my services?
Especially during a storm of severe magnitude, we can be impeded by obstacles blocking access to our lines such as downed power lines, blocked roads, unplowed or flooded streets, downed trees or other dangerous situations. These could slow our response time in repairing damage to our system. Conditions throughout our system also might cause delays. For instance, several small, scattered outages are more time consuming to repair because they entail more time consuming house-to-house stops to reconnect lines to individual homes.
How do you prioritize restoration efforts during a significant emergency situation?
We implement a disaster-recovery plan of operations that places the efforts of the entire company behind service restoration 24-hours a day. We make every effort to restore service to the maximum number of customers in the shortest possible time. The initial focus in a widespread outage is public safety and other critical facilities such as hospitals and nursing homes.