What to do when your power goes out

Caitlin Cosper / August 15th, 2016

[Peshkova]/Shutterstock

 

Electrical emergencies don’t happen often. When they do, however, it’s important to know what to do and how to handle the situation. In most instances, the best thing to do is call your transmission and delivery utility and report the emergency, whether it be a power outage or downed power line.

You can easily find out who your utility is by looking at your bill, or you can check out the following five Texas utilities and see if you live within their service area:

AEP Texas

AEP Texas Website
866-223-8508

CenterPoint Energy

CenterPoint Energy Website
800-332-7143 (Houston)
800-376-9663 (Beaumont)
800-259-5544 (East Texas)
800-427-7142 (South Texas)

Oncor

Oncor Website
888-313-4747

Sharyland Utilities

Sharyland Utilities Website
800-545-4513

TNMP

TNMP Website
888-866-7456

Have an emergency kit handy

While you should regain power in a matter of hours in most electrical emergencies, there are times when you might be without power for an extended time. This is especially true during periods of bad weather such as hurricane season.

FEMA recommends that you should have three days’ worth of water, food and other supplies in case of an emergency. ChooseTexasPower.org recommends you prepare an emergency kit with items such as:

  • Water – If there is ever a boil water advisory and you lose access to power, you won’t be able to boil water without fire. If temperatures are frigid, or if it’s raining, you’ll be stuck indoors. Having a few days’ worth of water around is essential. You should have at least a gallon of water per person per day.
  • Nonperishable food – When you lose power, you lose access to a running refrigerator. Nonperishable foods are a must, and items such as canned fruit, read-to-eat canned meats and granola are great items to keep handy.
  • First aid kit – Accidents happen, and if you’re stuck in your home without access to a phone, you should definitely consider having a first aid kit with items such as bandages, antibiotic ointment, pain relievers and hand sanitizer. In addition, having these items are a good idea to have even when you do have power. Just don’t forget to refill if you use them!
  • Batteries – While you don’t have access to the electrical grid when you lose power, it doesn’t mean you should lose complete access to your electronics. Weather radios and flashlights use batteries and can be your best resource in times of need. Stock up on the necessary sizes of batteries so you can keep these devices running.

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