Talk Back Tuesday: Tips to keep you safe when the power goes out

Welcome to the second installment of Talk Back Tuesday! This week we will discuss what you should do in the event of a power outage.

This is a timely subject because unfortunately, Cleveland Public Power experienced two outages this weekend, leaving thousands of our customers without service for a few hours.

We apologize for this inconvenience. We have found that a blown lightning arrester was the culprit and fortunately, our crews were able to resolve the issue quickly. To put this in terms that you may better understand, an arrester is similar to your surge protector at home.

So let’s say you were sitting at home this past Saturday evening, just sitting down for dinner when suddenly everything got quiet. You look around and wonder what happened and then realize the power is out.

Realizing the power is out what should you do next? First, give your electric provider a call and report the outage. This is key because while our crews in the Trouble & Power Dispatch centers are aware there is a problem – they may not know how many homes or businesses have been impacted by the outage.

If it is still daylight, gather candles and batteries in case of a prolonged outage. If you are using candles please remember to use them safely. This means keep them away from direct airflow, make sure they are on a heat resistant surface, keep them away from children or pets and remember to blow them out when leaving a room.

When calling the provider – be patient! We know that you are anxious to return to your daily activities and we are working hard to restore your services, but many of our customers are calling at the same time which may result in a delay. Please have your address and telephone number ready. These are tools used in tracking and method to  contact you if there is problem with returning your service.

If you had a number of appliances running when the power went out, turn those off. This will prevent any surges once power is restored.

One of the most important things you can do is leave the refrigerator closed. If you need to get something out, try to make a list of what you need and get it all at once. This advice comes from the United States Department of Agriculture, “Keep the refrigerator and freezer doors closed as much as possible to maintain the cold temperature. The refrigerator will keep food safely cold for about 4 hours if it is unopened. A full freezer will hold the temperature for approximately 48 hours (24 hours if it is half full) if the door remains closed. Obtain dry or block ice to keep your refrigerator as cold as possible if the power is going to be out for a prolonged period of time. Fifty pounds of dry ice should hold an 18-cubic foot full freezer for 2 days. Plan ahead and know where dry ice and block ice can be purchased.”

For more information on keeping food safe during an emergency, visit the USDA site here.

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Filed under Community Outreach, Customer Service, Power Outage

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