A winter storm aggravated our area with freezing rain and snow on Feb. 25 which unfortunately led to hazardous road conditions, downed power lines, and power outages.
Central Electric Cooperative (CEC) crews are currently doing everything they can to restore all members' power. We thank you for your continued patience during our restoration efforts.
The National Weather Service tells us that winter storms are deceptive killers because most deaths are indirectly related to storms. Many hazards can remain after a winter storm is gone.
CEC offers the following tips on how to stay warm during a winter power outage:
- Stay inside, and dress warmly.
- Close off unneeded rooms and place draft blocks at the bottom of doors to minimize cold air entering the house.
- Be aware of the temperature in your home. Infants and elderly people are more susceptible to the cold. You may want to stay with friends or relatives or go to a shelter if you cannot keep your home warm.
Apart from the cold, there are other dangers winter storms can bring. Downed power lines could be submerged in snow and ice, making them difficult to see. Therefore, stay indoors if possible. If you must go outside, use caution and treat all downed and hanging lines as if they are energized. Stay away, warn others to stay away, and immediately contact 9-1-1.
Always remember a power line does not need to be sparking or arcing to be energized. It’s best to assume all low and downed lines are energized and dangerous. Lines that appear to be dead can become energized as crews work to restore power, or sometimes from improper use of emergency generators.
If you use a standby generator for temporary power, make sure it has a transfer safety switch to cut off at the breaker box before you operate it. If you use a portable generator, never plug it into a wall outlet. These precautions prevent back feed, which is when electricity travels from the generator back through the power lines. Back feed creates danger for anyone near lines, particularly crews working to restore power.
If you are a motorist caught out in the storm, never drive over a downed line because that could pull down the pole and other equipment, causing additional hazards. If you see a downed line, do not get out of your car. The safest place is inside the vehicle. Contact 9-1-1 immediately.
Be sure to have a storm preparedness kit ready before a storm strikes to help get you and your family through a power outage. This kit should include bottled water, non-perishable food, blankets, warm clothing, first aid kit/medicine, flashlight, radio, extra batteries, and toiletries.
If you are using an alternative heating source during a power outage, be sure to know how to use it safely and that you have all supplies for it gathered. You should have enough supplies in your preparedness kit to last three to seven days.
For more information on electrical safety, please click here.