Catastrophic events like ice storms, hurricanes and tornadoes can cause widespread outages that may continue for an extended period of time. It's wise to have back up plans in place to cope with an extended outage. Follow these tips to weather out a power outage:
Make Sure Your Family is Safe
Have a plan for family and friends who have a medical need for electricity. This may include arranging for extra batteries, supplies or an alternate location for them to stay until power is restored.
Have flashlights, battery-powered lanterns and plenty of batteries on hand. Candles are useful as well. Be sure any flame is properly monitored.
If you have well service, fill bathtubs and other large containers to use for household use, like flushing toilets. Stock up on drinking water. Be sure you think about water for your animals as well.
Have blankets, gloves, hats and extra warm clothes on hand. If you have a fireplace, make sure you have plenty of fire wood. Make sure all other heating sources are approved for indoor use. If you bring outdoor heaters inside, there may be a risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.
Stock up on a few days worth of non-perishable food items that don't need cooking. Canned fruit, peanut butter, trail mix, jerky, crackers and bread are great things to have in the pantry before a storm.
Do not open your refrigerator or freezer if you can help it. This will help insulate the food to keep it from spoiling.
Tip: A full freezer will hold its temperature for up to 48 hours. A refrigerator will keep food safe for 4 hours.
During a storm, you may not be able to use your phone for the latest weather update. Have a weather radio on hand with extra batteries.
Have a first aid kit and any necessary prescriptions on hand. Unfortunately, we cannot confirm power will be turned back on first for those with medical needs. If you have medical needs that require electricity, we encourage you to have a backup plan in case of extended power outages.
Have cash on hand as well. While some stores may not have full power, they can likely take cash for essential items.
HOW TO REPORT A POWER OUTAGE
Have a licensed electrician properly install a backup generator and obtain a fuel supply to run it. Georgia law requires you to have a properly installed transfer switch. A transfer switch isolates the generator from our lines and eliminates feedback to the electric system. Feedback can electrocute anyone coming in contact with wires your generator has energized. If you don't have a transfer switch installed, plug appliances directly into the generator using a properly sized extension cord.
Other Power Sources:
While your home's electricity is likely your main source of power, there may be other sources around your home as well. Buy an external power pack or a car charger to charge your cell phone. You can also buy a power inverter to plug into your car to run other small household items as well.
How Tri-County EMC Prepares for Major Storms
- Most outages occur when trees fall on power lines due to high winds or frozen precipitation accumulating on the branches. By having a right-of-way trimming program in place, contractors keep trees and other growth trimmed away from power lines. This allows for fewer overall power outages and allows our lineman to have better access to power lines.
- We provide multiple ways for our members to report an outage. By reporting your outage via text, email, website, app or phone, we will be able to get your outage into our system quickly
- Our dispatch office is staffed 24/7. Our dispatchers are constantly watching the weather and monitoring our service area through our mapping system.
- We have agreements in place for mutual aid in times of crisis and contact other EMCs and contractors to secure help before the damage.
- We keep an extra stock of commonly-used materials like poles, transformers, reclosers and wire on hand and have vendor arrangements to get additional materials in short order.