With summer approaching, the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) is reminding consumers of important outage preparation information.
While the electric distribution system in Ohio is typically safe and reliable, service interruptions can result from weather conditions such as thunderstorms, high winds or snow storms.
The PUCO offers these tips for being prepared in the event electric customers experience a service interruption.
Being Prepared Year-Round
For practical purposes, every home should have a storm kit. The following items should be included for unexpected power interruptions.
Portable, battery-powered radio
Manual can opener and bottle opener
A supply of non-perishable foods needing little or no cooking (Be sure you pack any special dietary foods, baby food and formula, if needed)
Water stored in clean, non-corrosive, non-breakable, tightly covered containers such as soft drink bottles ― plan for at least two quarts per person per day
Personal hygiene products, sanitary supplies, diapers and first aid supplies
Ice chest and ice or frozen ice packs
Camp stove or canned heat stove, and fuel for three to five days; or hibachi grill and charcoal
If possible, have access to a cellular phone. Your home’s hardwire or cordless telephone may not work without electricity
You will also want to know how to manually open and close any electric garage doors, security doors or gates. Have surge protectors on important electrical equipment such as computers, DVD players and televisions. Be aware that during an outage, gas appliances with electronic ignitions will not work because electricity is needed to ignite the natural gas. Appliances requiring fans or other electric devices to run (such as central heating units and gas clothes dryers) will not operate.
What should I do during a power outage?
All outages should be immediately reported to your electric company. Since many other customers may be calling at the same time, you may not be able to speak with a live person. You can still report your outage by following the automated instructions. This will let the utility company know the location and extent of the outage. The company must keep a record of all outages.
You should also unplug all major appliances and electronics, such as computers and televisions, to protect them from a possible power surge when the power comes back on. By leaving one light on, you will be able to tell when your service is restored.
For more information, click here or call 1-800-BE-READY and for additional tips on being prepared during a power outage visit www.PUCO.ohio.gov or call 1-800-686-PUCO (7826).