COLUMBUS – This summer, 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, weather conditions such as thunderstorms, high winds or tornados can cause service interruptions.
The PUCO offers these tips for being prepared in the event electric customers experience an outage.
What should I do during a power outage?
All outages should be immediately reported to your electric company. This will let the utility company know the location and extent of the outage. The company must keep a record of all outages. Most utilities allow you to report outages by phone, online or even mobile apps.
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.
How can I be prepared year-round?
For practical purposes, every home should have a storm kit. The following items should be included for unexpected power interruptions:
• Extra batteries
• 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. A hardwire or cordless telephone may not work without electricity.
Make sure you 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 air conditioning units and gas clothes dryers) will not operate.
For additional tips on being prepared during a power outage visit www.Ready.gov or www.PUCO.ohio.gov. For help with utility-related questions or concerns, call the PUCO Call Center at 800-686-PUCO (7826).