Storms can cause widespread power outages. (To check the weather in your location, visit the National Weather Service Forecast Office web site.) Should an outage occur, OPPD personnel will restore service as quickly as possible (please see Getting Back On Line), but there are a few things you should remember until the lights are back on:
• Call 1-800-554-6773 (554-OPPD) or your local OPPD office.
If an outage is widespread, thousands of customers may be calling to report outages and you may get a busy signal. Please be patient. Once you've completed your call, please avoid repeat calls that may tie up phone lines and prevent other new reports from getting through. OPPD crews will work to restore your service as quickly and safely as possible.
• Turn off most lights and unplug appliances and electronic equipment. This will reduce electrical load when power is restored and help minimize the possibility of damage to electrical devices.
• Treat every line you see as though it is a LIVE WIRE.
Don't go near downed lines, and please report the problem to OPPD as quickly as possible. Until repair crews arrive, please watch the line at a safe distance and alert others who may come by.
• Be careful during clean-up work.
If clean-up work is necessary following a storm or other event, please make sure you watch out for any power lines on the ground or overhead. Make sure there aren't any downed lines tangled in fallen tree limbs or debris that you're about to clear. If you're working above the ground – for example, removing damaged branches from a tree or checking for roof damage – make sure there aren't any overhead power lines near your work area.
• Use extreme caution with power tools during clean-up activities. If you have electricity and will be using power tools in your clean-up, make sure all cords are in good condition and that tools are plugged into outlets protected by ground fault circuit interrupters.
• Home Emergency Checklist – basic supplies to keep on hand in case power is lost:
__ Flashlights or lanterns with batteries, or light/glow sticks NOTE: Please avoid using candles due to risk of fire
__ Battery-operated radio
__ Powdered milk & canned or freeze-dried foods
__ Bottled water
__ First-aid kit
__ Baby supplies (if appropriate)
__ Extra medicines (be sure to check expiration dates regularly)
__ A list of important phone numbers
• Keep refrigerator and freezer doors closed to help preserve food.
Depending on the condition of the appliance, a closed refrigerator can keep food from spoiling for eight to 10 hours when the power is out. (That period of time will be shortened if the unit is poorly insulated, if the door gasket is in poor condition, or if doors are opened frequently.)
A fully loaded freezer may keep food frozen for up to two days.
If any food in the refrigerator or freezer is warmer than 45° F, throw it out.
For more information e-mail the Energy Advisor at firstname.lastname@example.org or call in Omaha 402-636-3850, outside metropolitan area 1-800-648-2658.