What To Do If The Lights Go Out

By Shaunda Rauch on November 17, 2013 from Emergency Services Blog via Connect-Bridgeport.com

Current weather forecasts have increased our risk for extensive power outages across the state compounding the restoration process for our sister states who are reeling from the severe storms/tornadoes that have left a path of chaos and destruction in their wake. 
 
The severe weather threat is almost here and as I sit here in my office sending out warning information and preparing to activate our Emergency Operations Center if the situation worsens, I have to wonder … have you taken the steps to prepare yourself and your family for another power outage?  The June 29th Derecho storm was a significant reminder of our strong dependence on the power grid.  Power outages can be extremely inconvenient, but in some cases life threatening to individuals who rely on electricity to maintain their medical equipment. 
 
Preparedness reduces stress and the panic that many feel when they receive emergency public warning information stating that a severe storm or event is imminent.  Visit Ready.gov to learn more about how you can prepare yourself and your family for future threats. 
 
To assist you tonight if the power is to go out, FirstEnergy has some tips on what you should do if you lose power: 
 
What to do if You Lose Power
First, check your neighbors to see if their power is out, too, or if only your location is affected.

If only your lights are out:
1.Check your circuit breakers or fuses.
2.If no breaker is tripped or fuse is blown, the problem may be in the connection between our wires and your home. Report your outage using one of the following methods:
o    Call our toll-free, 24-hour Outage Reporting Line, 1-888-LIGHTSS (1-888-544-4877), or
o    Report your outage online here, or 
o    Report your outage via text message. Text REG to 544487 (LIGHTS) to get started.
3.Follow the other steps to take during an outage.
 
If your neighbors' lights are out, too:
1.Report your outage. We may not know that your power is out.
o    Call our toll-free, 24-hour Outage Reporting Line, 1-888-LIGHTSS (1-888-544-4877), or
o    Report your outage online here, or
o    Report your outage via text message. Text REG to 544487 (LIGHTS) to get started.
2.Follow the other steps to take during an outage.
 
Calling our outage assistance number
 
·         Customers should call 1-888-LIGHTSS (1-888-544-4877). 
·         Follow the recorded prompts to let us know your power is out. We will respond as soon as possible.
·         Customers with a communication disability can report an outage using the appropriate TTY/TDD relay serviceour online form, or text messaging.
·         Please report a downed wire only if you actually see one at your location. Do not assume that because your power is out there must be a wire down somewhere. For more information, see our Frequently Asked Questions. Remember to keep a safe distance from any downed wire.
 
If you choose to use a backup generator during an outage, please review these tips to use it safely.
 
For updates, you can:
·         Text STAT to 544487 for the latest information about an outage you've reported.
·         View current outages on our 24/7 Power Center outage maps.
·         During significant storms, we will post updates on our social media accounts.
 
 
Safety Information
 
• Stay away from downed power lines and anything touching them.
• If you see a wire down, call us at 1-888-LIGHTSS (544-4877) or local police or fire. Don’t report a line down unless you see one down. It will slow down the restoration if we have to respond to false reports.
• Never use your stove, gas grill or a heater designed for outdoor use to heat your home.
• Never use candles around pets or small children.
• Visit www.firstenergycorp.com for outage maps and other useful information.


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