Who to call if the power goes out
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. Your utility will know how to respond to an electrical outage regardless of the season. However, it’s especially important for safety reasons that all homeowners and renters know who to call if there is a power outage.
You can easily find out who your utility is by looking at your energy bill, or you can check out the following four Texas utilities to see if you live within their service area:
Report an outage here or by calling 866-223-8508
See the real-time AEP Texas outage map
Report an outage here or by calling:
800-259-5544 (East Texas)
800-427-7142 (South Texas)
See the real-time CenterPoint outage map
Report an outage here or by calling 888-313-4747
See the real-time Oncor outage map
Report an outage by calling 888-866-7456
See the real-time TNMP outage map
Power outage tips
While you may regain power in a matter of hours in most electrical emergencies, there are times when you might be without power for an extended time. Longer power outages can take place during periods of bad weather, such as hurricane season or winter storms.
- Keep an emergency kit handy. Prepare your kit ahead of time to avoid scrambling for items at the last minute. Keep your kit in an accessible location and make sure everyone in the household knows where it is located.
- Keep your refrigerator and freezer closed. This will help maintain its temperature and keep your food preserved as long as possible.
- Be safe when heating your home. Make sure to place generators at least 20 ft. from your home. Make sure the generator exhaust is directed away from windows or doors.
- Disconnect electronic appliances. Unplugging electronics like computers, TVs, printers, cellphones, gaming systems, and even your microwave will stop damage from power surges when the power comes back on.
What to put in your power outage emergency kit
Having an emergency kit handy can make surviving a power outage easier for your family and also save your life. 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, ready-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. Don’t forget to include any necessary prescription medications as well.
- 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.
- Warm clothes and bedding – Having backups of clean clothes, blankets, and pillows is crucial in a power outage, especially during an electrical loss in the wintertime.
- Cash and important documents – Have some cash on hand in case you need to purchase items during a power outage. Electrical outages may render credit and debit card machines unusable. Also, copies of emergency contacts, insurance information, and medical histories should be part of your kit.
- Visual distress signals – Signals that can be used in the daytime or at night, such as flares, can be critical if you live in a remote area where it may be difficult to locate you in case of an emergency.
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