Prepare for an Outage
Electric Life Support Equipment:
- If you or someone in your household relies on electric life support equipment, contact Tri-County at (580) 652-2418 or (800) 522-3315. We cannot guarantee uninterrupted service, but special attention will be given to restoring electricity to electric life support equipment during an outage. You may also want to consider temporary precautionary measures, such as moving the patient to a hospital or contacting local police or fire departments for emergency equipment.
- Investing in emergency generating equipment is a personal judgment based on your needs for uninterrupted service.
- Installing a generator is not a do-it-yourself project. Have a qualified electrician install your generator according to the National Electric Code and local ordinances. If you use a generator, make sure it has a transfer switch that disconnects it from main power lines. This is a National Electric Code requirement. A generator improperly connected to main power lines can backfeed power into them, shocking unsuspecting utility workers. A direct-connected generator also may result in a short circuit that can damage the electrical system or create a fire hazard. The generator itself may be damaged or destroyed.
Keep safe. Never touch a downed wire.
Stay away from it, and keep others away, too. Report it immediately, to Tri-County at 800-522-3315 or 580-652-2418 and consider reporting it to the County Sheriff's office, so an officer can guard the line.
Other outage safety tips:
- Don't operate lanterns, heaters or fuel-fired cook stoves without adequate ventilation.
- Don't burn charcoal indoors - it releases carbon monoxide.
- Don't store fuel inside your home.
- Wipe up any fuel spills immediately.
- Don't allow children to carry candles or oil lamps around the house.
Have an Emergency Kit for each member of your family, including children and pets.
See what's in Jamie Lee Curtis's emergency kit in this short You Tube video from the American Red Cross. See this Disaster Kit page from the American Red Cross for more information on types of items to include in your kit.
Additional Outage Information:
- In a prolonged power outage, lack of water can become a real problem. Store several gallons of drinking water for such emergencies. Use clean glass or plastic containers; metal can oxidize and give the water an unpleasant taste. Plastic containers are preferable because they don’t break. If you cannot sterilize the container, boil the water before storing it. Water in tightly sealed containers will stay fresh indefinitely. For an extra measure of safety, boil the water before use.
- Do not open the freezer during the outage - it shortens the time that food will stay frozen. Food will remain frozen, depending on room temperature and loading. (A full freezer will stay colder longer.) To be prepared in advance for a possible power outage, freeze water in slightly under filled plastic jugs and use them to fill empty spaces.
- You may safely refreeze foods that have thawed if they still contain ice crystals or if they are still cold, and have been held at this temperature no longer than 1-2 days after thawing. Food warmed to 40 degrees or higher should be discarded.
- Examine each package of food. If the color or odor of the thawed food is questionable, discard the package.
- Do not refreeze foods that are highly susceptible to food spoilage, such as poultry, seafood, ice cream or cream sauce mixtures.
- In warm weather, the refrigerator will warm quickly, whether the door remains closed or not. Use perishable foods as soon as possible, and discard the rest.
- In winter, outdoor temperatures will provide good refrigeration. Another option: Freeze a bucket of water outside and put it in the fridge to help keep it cool.
- Turn off all appliances that were operating when the power went off, including your heating system. Leave on one light so you will know when service has been restored.
- Make sure to turn off the oven or stove burners if they were on when the power went off - this prevents a fire hazard if power is restored while no one is home.
- If you drain your electric water heater to prevent damage from freezing, turn off the appropriate circuit breaker or remove the necessary fuse to disconnect the water heater. Otherwise, you could burn out the heating elements if power is restored while the water heater is empty.
- If you have an automatic garage door opener, consult the manufacturer's instructions on how to open the door during an outage. If you don't have a manual, call your home builder or garage door service dealer.