For more information, contact:
Tina Potthoff, Media Relations Manager, at 515-281-2585
Tim Grabinski, Director, Communication Planning, at 515-281-2343
DES MOINES, Iowa – (Dec. 18, 2012) – With blizzard conditions in the forecast, MidAmerican Energy Company reminds customers that accumulations of snow and ice can interrupt a home’s or business’ electric and natural gas supply and create unsafe operating conditions.
If you see a downed line, assume it is an energized electric line and do not touch it. Call MidAmerican Energy immediately at 800-799-4443. Touching an energized electric line can cause serious injury.
MidAmerican Energy offers the following safety tips in the event of a power outage:
- If you lose power to your home or business during a storm, check fuses or circuit breakers first, then call MidAmerican Energy at 800-799-4443.
- Never assume someone else has reported a power outage. If you lose power during a storm, call MidAmerican Energy. This information helps the company’s electric outage management system pinpoint the source of an outage and speeds the restoration process.
- Keep fresh batteries in flashlights and lanterns for use during emergencies, and have extra batteries on hand.
- Never use a grill, space heater or portable generator intended for outdoor use inside a home. Similarly, never attempt to heat a home with a gas range. All can emit deadly carbon monoxide.
- Always use caution and common sense when using candles and oil lamps for light. Never leave candles burning when you go to bed. Keep them away from drapes and other materials that could catch fire. Avoid placing candles on low tables where pets or children can knock them off.
- If you have a standby generator, make sure it is installed safely and properly. If it is not, you risk damaging your property and endangering yourself and MidAmerican Energy line workers who may be working on power lines some distance from your home.
The following safety tips can help keep your natural gas supply uninterrupted and operating safely:
- Avoid plowing or piling snow against meters or gas regulators.
- Use a broom rather than a shovel to clear snow from meters or gas regulators.
- In a safe manner from the ground, carefully remove icicles from the section of roof or gutter above the meter. Water that drips on meters or gas regulators can freeze and cover the equipment in ice.
- If a meter or gas regulator becomes encased in ice, do not try to melt or chip the ice. Call MidAmerican Energy at 888-427-5632 for service.
- For customers whose meters have not been upgraded to automated meter reading, clear a path to the meter. A clear path to the meter will help MidAmerican Energy meter readers stay safe and prevent estimated reads and inaccurate bills.
Additional information about the causes of power outages, preparing for a storm, and how MidAmerican Energy restores power is available by selecting the Storm Center tab on MidAmerican Energy’s website at www.midamericanenergy.com.
MidAmerican Energy Company, Iowa’s largest energy company, provides electric service to 732,000 customers and natural gas service to 714,000 customers in Iowa, Illinois, Nebraska and South Dakota. It is headquartered in Des Moines, Iowa. Information about MidAmerican Energy is available on the company’s website, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube pages, which can be accessed via www.midamericanenergy.com.