What to do When the Lights Go Out
When severe weather causes power outages, employees of Coosa Valley Electric Cooperative begin working immediately to restore service as quickly as possible. Primary lines serving hundreds of customers are serviced first, then the secondary lines serving just a few customers. Medical facilities and individuals on life-support systems are given top priority.
When your lights go out, look outside and see if your neighbors are also in the dark. If they're not, check your fuse box or circuit breaker to see if you can locate the problem.
If the outage has affected your neighbors, call CVEC at 1-800-273-7210 to report the outage.
Outages that occur in severe weather, or that last for an extended period of time, can place a heavy burden on the system at the moment power is restored. To prevent an overload on the system and possibly another outage, take these steps:
- Turn off all inside lights except one.
- Turn down your thermostat.
- In cold weather, close windows and drapes to save heat. Pick one room on the warm side of the house (preferably one with a fireplace). Close the door to the rest of the house and use blankets to insulate your windows.
- If the outage lasts more than 60 minutes, turn off your electric water heater.
- Make sure your kitchen range is off, both the surface and the oven. Never use it for heat, especially if it is gas.
- Turn off all unnecessary appliances.
- Avoid opening the freezer door. A full, freestanding freezer will keep food at freezing temperatures about 2 days; a half-full freezer about 1 day. For more information about food safety during and after a power outage, call the county office of the N.C. Cooperative Extension Service, or dial the USDA Food Safety Hotline at 1-800-535-4555.
- If you see a downed power line, STAY AWAY!! And call the CVEC Hazard Hotline at 1-800-273-7210 at once!
- Leave your porch light on so CVEC workers will know when your power has been restored.
- When power comes back on, slowly switch on your appliances and lights and gradually return your thermostat to its normal setting.
Preparing for severe weather
PREPARE AN EMERGENCY KIT FOR SEVERE WEATHER
CVEC works hard to keep the power on for its customers, but severe weather can sometimes put us in the dark. You'll be safer and less inconvenienced if you have the following emergency supplies on hand:
- flashlight with fresh batteries radio with fresh batteries
- candles and holders blankets
- matches wind-up clock
- firewood and kindling manual can opener
- charcoal grill with charcoal and paper plates and plastic utensils
- lighter bottled water
- non-perishable food