You never know when bad weather may hit. That's why it's important to be "storm-savvy" for when it does. Lightning, and the power surge it may cause, is a destructive force, even if it doesn't directly hit your home.
Here are a few tips to protect your family and your appliances during thunderstorms:
Be prepared ahead of time
- Keep a flashlight handy.
- Have at least one wired phone or a cell phone in a convenient place.
- Post the ECE number 1-800-254-7944 near that phone.
- Install surge protectors.
- Pay attention to weather changes. Lightning often precedes rain, so don't wait for raindrops to fall before going indoors.
When a storm is coming
- Unplug your appliance power cords and cables from outlets.
- Lightning can travel through wiring and water pipes, so unplug appliances.
- Don't use a corded telephone or any electrical appliances.
- Don't take a bath or shower.
- Turn off the air conditioner.
- Draw blinds and shades over windows. If windows break, the shades prevent glass from shattering into your home.
After the storm
- Keep away from downed power lines. Some energized wires spark and snap, others do not, but both are dangerous.
If you don't have power
It doesn't happen often, but when it does, know what to check first to get your power restored sooner.
- First check your breakers or fuses on your own system to see if they have tripped.
- If so, the problem is most likely with your own wiring and an electrician is needed.
- If you have automated meter device (Turtle) installed on your meter, see if the red light is on.
- If so, there is power to the meter and an electrician should be called.
- If the light is out, please call ECE at 1-800-254-7944 or login to SmartHub to report your outage.
We have an automated outage system that matches your phone number to your account and automatically reports your outage. If no match is found, your call is forwarded to the next available dispatcher. If you have specific information regarding the outage, for example a tree on the line, please stay on the line to speak to a dispatcher.
REMEMBER: A major outage can affect thousands of other members. We appreciate your patience.
How do we restore power?
Hurricanes and ice storms. Tornadoes and blizzards. Chances are, you have seen it all. And with severe weather comes power outages. Restoring power after a major outage is a big job that involves much more than simply throwing a switch or removing a tree from a line.
The main goal is to restore power safely to the greatest number of members in the shortest time possible.
The major cause of outages is damage caused by fallen trees. That's why we have an ongoing right-of-way maintenance program.
Let's walk through our step-by-step process for restoring power.
ECE crews are sent to remove power lines from roadways first.
We check local distribution substations. If the problem can be corrected at this level, power may be restored to a large number of people.
Next, the major distribution feeders are repaired. If energy cannot be distributed over these lines, your home cannot receive power.
Line crews fix the remaining outages on the final supply lines, called tap lines. Tap lines are the lines that carry power to groups of homes from the distribution feeders.
We repair individual service lines. This explains why you may have no power when your neighbor does.