What to do?
Electric service is extremely reliable; however, power outages sometimes occur. Preparing ahead of time can help you to better handle any emergency situations. Consider these tips:
- Be sure to have an emergency kit readily available in the event of a power outage. Some items you should include are:
- First and foremost, if there is someone in the home that is dependent on electric-powered, life sustaining equipment, be sure to have battery back-up available for multiple days.
- Medications: enough for multiple days.
- First aid kit
- Conveniently locate flashlights for easy access and use. You will be able to see what you're doing, and circumstances will seem a little less threatening.
- Water: one gallon per person, per day.
- Non-perishable food; items that may be easily prepared.
- Battery-powered radio and extra batteries.
- Cell phone with extra chargers.
- Sanitation and personal hygiene items.
- Extra blankets.
- One or more coolers.
- Look to see if the neighbors’ lights are off. If the neighbors’ lights are not off, the problem may be confined to your home.
- Check fuses and breakers. If there is a problem with the fuses or breakers, once again, this may indicate that the problem is confined to your home.
- Turn off all electrical appliances that were on; especially heat pumps, air-conditioners, or electric heating. This precautionary measure will aid in preventing the system from overloading once power is restored.
- Call BrightRidge to report your power interruption or report via the SmartHub App. Consider putting this number in a convenient location for easy access: 952-5000. BrightRidge's automated phone systems helps to better serve customer calls, especially during large power outages. It is VERY IMPORTANT that we have the correct information concerning your electric account. Please check your monthly invoice to make sure that the correct phone number is listed for your account. If the phone number is incorrect, space has been provided on the payment stub for you to write the correct number and return to our attention.
- Tune in to social media for BrightRidge updates on Facebook and Twitter. You may also turn on your battery-operated portable radio and listen for messages from BrightRidge. If possible, call your neighbors and find out if they have information about the emergency.
- If extreme conditions exist and power outages are widespread, you may consider making alternate arrangements until power is restored.
- It is important to check on older friends, neighbors, and relatives during emergency situations; such as, extreme power interruptions. You may even consider assisting them in making alternate arrangements if the power interruption is anticipated to last for an extended period of time.
- CAUTION: CARBON MONOXIDE KILLS. Never use a generator, grill, camp stove or other gasoline, propane, kerosene or natural gas burning device inside. Install carbon monoxide alarms inside your home on every level. Make sure batteries are changed regular, and that the device(s) is in good working order.
- Keep refrigerator and freezer doors closed. See also USDA Food Safety Tips
When Power Is Restored
By following these two simple rules when power is restored, you may greatly assist crews in their efforts to restore power, especially during widespread outages generally resulting from hazardous weather conditions. You may also prevent damage to your electric heat pump.
Rule #1 - Return to normal usage gradually.
Once power has been restored many people are anxious to get the appliances up and running; however, this is not a good idea. If everyone had the same idea and switched on electrical appliances at once, the power lines could be overloaded, which would cause another outage. Be careful! Slowly and gradually, return to your normal usage.
Rule #2 - In winter, don't reset your heat pump thermostat to the "on" position as soon as power is restored.
The electric heat pump performs its job by circulating a refrigerant gas. When the power has been off for a while, the unit’s refrigerant cools and changes to a liquid, which tends to collect in the compressor. If the unit is put into operation in this state, possible mechanical damage can result. If the power has been off for more than three hours, place the system switch in the emergency heat position. This will quickly bring your home to normal temperature. Leave the switch in the emergency heat position for approximately 24 hours. At the end of 24 hours, set the thermostat for heat pump operation. This will restart your unit in the heat pump mode.