Make a safety kit
- Battery-powered radio
- Extra batteries for flashlights and radio
- A three-day supply of nonperishable food and water for everyone in your household
- Manual can opener
- Blankets and warm sweaters
- First-aid supplies
- Extra cash (in case local ATMs are down)
- Outage Safety checklist
Store your safety kit in a place that's easy to find in the dark and make sure everyone in your family knows where it is kept. Review with children what to do if an outage happens while they are with a sitter or home alone.
Make arrangements for medical equipment
If you or someone in your care has a condition that requires continuous or special medication or life support systems, or if your medications require constant refrigeration, contact your doctor about how to prepare for power outages.
Electrical outages can be caused by a variety of factors. Though individual situations may differ, following are the most common causes of power outages in the Midwest.
- Vehicle contact with utility poles or other electrical equipment
- Animals climbing on poles, transformers and fuses
- Trees contacting power lines
- Damage by third-party contractors
- Equipment overload due to high power demand
- Planned outages to maintain equipment
During An Outage
- If a power outage occurs, first check your fuses or circuit breakers to rule out a blown fuse or tripped breaker. If it is not a problem inside your home, report your outage immediately. Call MidAmerican Energy at 800-799-4443 or report your outage online. Reporting your outage helps our crews to pinpoint the issue and restore your power faster.
- Monitor the outage restoration process by listening to radio reports, viewing our outage map or following updates on our social media pages.
- Unplug computers, TVs, electronics and other sensitive appliances to avoid possible damage when electricity is restored.
- Turn off all but one of the lights that were on, so you will notice when electricity is restored. If you have a porch light, leave it on so crews patrolling in your area will know that power has been restored.
- Use a flashlight. Avoid candles because of the fire risk.
- Turn off heat-producing appliances like electric irons and heaters to prevent a fire in case no one is home when power is restored.
- If a standby generator is used, make sure it has a manual or automatic transfer switch. This switch will isolate home circuits from power lines. A generator that does not have a transfer switch can back feed electricity into main power lines, causing a shock hazard for you and utility crews.
- When power resumes, reset clocks and check automatic alarms and timers. Plug in only essential items. Wait 10 minutes before connecting the rest to let the electrical system stabilize.
- Never use a grill, space heater or portable generator intended for outside use inside your home. All can emit deadly carbon monoxide.