Harsh and unpredictable Midwest winter storms bring the potential for power outages, as high winds, ice, sleet and snow can bring down trees and power lines.
During severe weather, our number one priority is to safely restore power to our customers. While our teams assess the damage, gather repair equipment and dispatch our front-line crews, we encourage you to follow these safety tips during and after a power outage.
If possible, always report a power outage. Don't assume your neighbors have already called it in. It's better for us to have multiple reports, even on the same street, so we can more quickly pinpoint where repairs are needed. Check fuses or circuit breakers first and then report your outage online, via Twitter or Facebook or call 888-427-5632.
Avoid downed power lines and poles. If you are outside, be alert for lines that may be hard to see. Be cautious when moving debris in your yard as it could be entangled with a downed power line.
Assume all fallen power lines are energized. Fallen power lines can hurt or kill you, even if they do not spark or hum. To be safe, stay away from anything that is touching the line, such as a tree, fence, vehicle, etc. To avoid being electrocuted, remember not to touch anything close to downed power line, including people.
Turn off heat-producing appliances. To prevent fires, especially if you leave home during an outage, double check to make sure all of your heat-producing appliances (irons, hair straighteners, coffee pots, etc.) have been turned off or unplugged.
Use a flashlight and avoid candles because of the fire risk. Turn off all but one of the lights so you will notice when electricity is restored.
Unplug electrical devices. To avoid possible damage when the electricity comes back on unplug or switch off your power strip for computers, TVs and other sensitive appliances.
If you use a standby generator, make sure it has a manual or automatic transfer switch. This switch will isolate your home circuits from power lines. A generator that does not have a transfer switch can backfeed electricity into main power lines, causing a shock hazard for you and utility crews. Never run a portable generator inside or near a building.