When the Lights Go Out

Steps for Dealing with a Power Outage

What’s the first thing you should do when there’s a weather-related power outage? Call the utility company for your area and First Choice Power to report the outage! In fact, we recommend entering these numbers into your cell phone now, just in case you need them in the future. You can call First Choice Power at , and you can view the numbers for the Texas utility companies below!

What’s Next:

  • Avoid all downed utility lines. It’s difficult to distinguish between power, cable, and phone lines. Assume that any line you see on the ground is energized, and remain a safe distance away.
  • Check the area. It’s tempting to start cleaning up the yard right after a storm, but be careful. Don’t remove debris that’s within 10 feet of a power line – a downed wire might be hidden underneath.
  • To protect kids and pets from fallen power lines and other storm hazards, it’s best to keep them inside after the storm.
  • Steer clear of any standing water near wires and appliances.
  • If the power goes out, your electric garage door won’t open on its own. If you evacuate your home, be sure to have a door key with you so you can re-enter. And to operate your garage door manually, pull on the emergency release cord and push the door up using the lift handle.
  • Consider unplugging major appliances. When your power is restored, plug them back in or restart them one at a time. If several large appliances start up at once when power is restored, they may overload your home’s electric circuits.
  • Be patient. Power may be restored faster in some parts of your neighborhood than others. It’s not uncommon for neighbors across the street – or even next door – to receive power before others. It all depends on which equipment was knocked out by the storm.
  • Don’t assume the utility company for your area knows about your outage. You should always report your power outage to ensure they have a record of it.

Who to Call:

To report outages, downed wires, damages to your electric meter, or other electricity-related issues, contact your local utility company (the folks that take care of the lines, poles, wires, and meters in your area). Be sure to program their number into your cell phone before severe weather strikes.

Not sure which utility company serves your area? Your bill should tell you. Look under the graph in the YOUR USAGE section on the back of your bill.

Taking a few precautions during and after severe weather will help keep everyone safe and minimize damage.

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