September is recognized as National Preparedness Month, and according to the Ready.gov campaign, this year’s theme is Prepared, not Scared. Here at CPS Energy, we stay prepared 24/7 for any emergencies that may affect the reliable natural gas and electric service our customers expect from us. And as we move toward Fall, we have our sights set on weather patterns that may lead to possible storms and inconvenient power outages. Our responsibility to the community and customers means we must be prepared for all types of conditions. Safely keeping the lights on and the natural gas flowing is our number one priority. It is a responsibility we don’t take lightly.
Of course, there are things you can do to stay prepared for outages. Below are some tips to help you:
To help you learn how we prepare, we’ve put together a series of short videos that explain how we react to a severe weather forecast. Stay tuned for more videos. Click the video below to see the first one in the series.
If you should experience a power outage, here are some tips to help you through it:
- First, if your neighbors have power and you do not, check your breakers. Tripped breakers account for about 20% of our service calls.
- Report your outage online with your smart phone or tablet or by calling (210) 353-HELP (4357) to ensure that we are aware of your outage as soon as possible.
- Update alert preferences through Manage My Account to stay informed on the status of your power outage.
- Stay informed. Check our outage map for current outage updates. Also, follow our Facebook and Twitter sites for status updates. If possible, seek local TV or radio station weather reports.
- Stay away from downed power lines and report them to CPS Energy. Do NOT attempt to move or drive over the lines. Even in an outage, power lines may still have electricity running through them.
- If your home or business is flooded, never enter standing water unless you’re sure the main power has been shut off.
- Unplug electrical equipment such as stereos, TVs and computer equipment to help protect them from power surges during power restoration.
- Turn off breakers to larger items, such as water heaters and air conditioning/heating units, to reduce the risk of overloading the electrical grid as power is restored, delaying power restoration efforts.
- Keep the refrigerator door closed as much as possible. Refrigerated food should be safe if power is out no more than 4 hours.
- If it looks like the power outage will be for more than 2-4 hours, pack perishable items (meat, poultry, fish, eggs, dairy products and leftovers) into a cooler surrounded by ice. Discard any perishable foods that have been above 40° F for more than 2 hours. See How to Keep Food Safe (FDA).
- Do NOT attempt to assist emergency and utility crews. Electricity can be dangerous. If you really want to help recovery and clean-up efforts, contact your local Red Cross to see where help is most needed.
Well, there you have it, a few simple reminders of what you can do to be prepared for potential power outages. Although always an inconvenience, it’s best to be ready for the unexpected, should you be left in the dark.