Before Your Lights Go Out
Although Tri-County EMC works hard to keep the power on for its customers, severe weather conditions or other unusual circumstances that cause damage to poles and lines can sometimes put us in the dark. You'll be safer and less inconvenienced if you have the following emergency supplies on hand in a convenient location:
- Flashlight with fresh batteries
- Candles and holders
- Firewood and kindling
- Charcoal grill with charcoal and lighter
- Nonperishable food
- Manual Can Opener
- Paper plates and plastic utensils
- Radio with fresh battery
- First Aid Kit
- Fuel up vehicles
- Bottled water
- Wind up or battery operated clock
- Fully charged cell phones
- Baby needs -- diapers, formula, wet ones etc.
- Pet needs -- identification tags, food and water
- Homeowners insurance information
In addition, the cooperative suggests securing all outdoor items that could become airborne (patio furniture, grills, toys, boats, etc.). People should fill their bathtubs with water that can be used to flush commodes. People should also keep blankets over freezers and refrigerators to help insulate them in the event of an extended outage.
After Your Lights Go Out
When severe weather causes power outages, employees of Tri-County Electric Membership Corporation immediately begin working to restore power to as many people as possible in the shortest amount of time. Serviced first are primary lines serving hundreds and sometimes thousands of customers. Medical facilities and individuals on life-support systems are given top priority during outages. When your lights go out, check with your neighbors to learn if they 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 the Tri-County office at 919-735-2611 or 800-548-4869. Power 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 the power is restored. To prevent an overload on the system and possibly another outage, take these steps:
- Turn off every inside light 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 and use blankets to insulate the windows.
- If the outage lasts over 60 minutes, turn off the electric water heater.
- Make sure your kitchen range is off, both the surface and the oven. Never use it as a substitute for your heater.
- Turn off all unnecessary appliances
- Avoid opening the freezer door. For more information about food safety during and after a power outage, call the county office of the N.C. Cooperative Extension Service.
- If you see a downed power line, STAY AWAY! Immediately go to a safe place and call the Tri-County EMC office.
- When power comes back on, slowly switch appliances and lights back on and gradually return your thermostat to its normal setting.