Summer power outage restoration
A number of circumstances can cause power interruptions, and damage from severe summer storms can cause extended outages. Call 1-800-432-2285 to report power outages.
If a power outage occurs during hot weather, MiEnergy Cooperative offers steps to maintain comfort and safety until power is restored:
- Many summer power outages are due to severe storms with high winds that topple trees onto utility poles and power lines. It's important to stay clear of downed power lines, and during cleanup efforts, be alert to the possibility that tree limbs or debris may hide an electrical hazard.
- Assume that any dangling wires you encounter are electrical and treat all downed or hanging lines as if they are energized. If you are driving and come upon a downed power line, stay in your vehicle, warn others to stay away and contact emergency personnel or electric utility.
- Also when driving, be careful at intersections where traffic lights may be out. Stop at all railroad crossings, and treat road intersections with traffic signals as a four-way stop before proceeding with caution.
If power to your home is out for a prolonged period, know and understand important safety precautions and steps to cope with heat until power is restored:
- Remember to call your electric utility immediately to report the outage.
- Dress in loose, lightweight clothing, and stay on the coolest, lowest level of your home.
- Use natural ventilation to cool homes.
- Drink plenty of water. Avoid heavy meals, caffeinated and alcoholic drinks.
- Keep fridge or freezer doors closed. A freezer that is half full or full can keep foods frozen 24 to 48 hours. Foods should stay safe in an unopened refrigerator up to four hours. If an outage lasts longer than four hours, remove and pack meat, milk and dairy products in a cooler with ice.
- Use safe, alternative food preparations. A barbecue grill is an excellent way to prepare food, but a charcoal grill should always be used outside.
- Check on friends and relatives—especially children, seniors, and those with medical conditions or disabilities. These people may need to seek emergency cooling shelters.
- Keep a first-aid kit in your home and one in your car. Make sure that it includes scissors, tweezers, safety pins, aspirin, eyewash and rubbing alcohol or hydrogen peroxide.
- Close all drapes and blinds on the sunny side of your residence.
- Take your family and pets to a cool basement location if you have one. Or consider going to an air-conditioned public place during warmer daytime hours.
During an outage, MiEnergy also recommend turning off electrical appliances and unplugging major equipment, including air conditioning, computers and televisions. This will help protect equipment that could be damaged by electrical surges, and prevent circuit overloads when power is restored. Leave one light on to indicate that power has been restored. Wait a few minutes then turn on other appliances and equipment one at a time.
If you use a standby generator, make sure a transfer safety switch is used or connect the appliance(s) directly to the generator output through an isolated circuit before you operate it. This prevents electricity from traveling back through the power lines, what's known as "back feed." Back feed creates danger for anyone near lines, particularly crews working to restore power.
For more information on electrical safety, visit Safe Electricity.