Monsoons can bring high winds, severe thunderstorms and rain. With storms often rolling in quickly, it’s important to be ready in case the power goes out during a big storm. Here are five ways to stay prepared during storm season.
1. Stay informed about outages.
SRP customers have many ways to stay informed during an outage:
- Sign up for free outage alerts. We’ll text or email you if the power goes out in your area. Get notified about outage causes, estimated restoration times and when power is restored.
- Download the SRP Power mobile app™ on iOS or Android. Use the app to report an outage or use the interactive outage map to see areas without power. You’ll see the number of customers affected, cause of the outage and estimated restoration times.
- Bookmark the SRP outage map. It’s a great resource to check for outage updates and details.
- Whichever communication options you prefer, be sure to sign up, download, bookmark or follow now so that you’re ready if and when the power goes out.
2. Create a storm safety kit.
Before the first storm hits, prepare an outage safety kit for your home or business.
At home, be sure to have a kit that includes the following:
- First-aid kit: Be sure to include your family’s prescription medications. Make sure items in the first-aid kit are in usable condition.
- Flashlights: Ensure the batteries are good and that you have extra on hand.
- Battery-powered phone charger: Keep your mobile phone charged during an outage.
- Bottled water: Have at least 1 gallon per person.
- Coolers or ice chests: You’ll need these if the outage is lengthy.
If you’re a business owner or operator, we recommend all of the above plus the following:
- A floor plan of your business: Mark the locations of emergency shutoffs for gas, electricity, water, the security alarm and the fire suppression system
- Emergency phone numbers: Keep these in a central location for others to find easily.
- Basic tools: You never know when a screwdriver or hammer may come in handy.
- Battery-powered radio or TV: Make sure you have extra batteries!
Don’t forget any other essentials that may be important to your family or business.
3. Prepare your home or business for an outage.
Once your storm safety kit is prepared, take these additional preventive measures around your home:
- Install surge protectors to safeguard valuable electronic equipment, such as computers and home entertainment systems.
- Know where to find each utility shut off — electricity, water and gas. Know how to turn each one off and have the proper tools to do so.
- If you have an automatic garage door, check the instructions or check with the manufacturer to learn how to open the door manually (without power).
- Business owners should have a continuity plan in place with defined roles and responsibilities with key employees.
- Consider if a backup power source is right for your business.
4. Know what to do during an outage.
If an outage does occur, stay calm and follow these important tips to stay safe:
- Turn off all major appliances, including your computer, air conditioner, TV and other media equipment, and dishwasher. This will help SRP restore power more quickly while protecting your equipment from voltage fluctuations and circuit overloads when power returns.
- Turn off all lights except one to indicate when the power has been restored. When power is restored, wait a few minutes before turning on lights and appliances, and turn them on one at a time.
- For an extended outage, find the nearest heat relief station.
- For outages longer than five hours, save and submit your receipts to be reimbursed for up to $10 of the cost of purchasing ice. Send an email to [email protected] with “Ice Reimbursement” in the subject line. Be sure to include your name, address and a copy of the receipt.
- If a generator is used, always follow the manufacturer’s instructions and only use it in a well-ventilated area. Never connect it to your building’s wiring.
5. Remember important storm safety tips if you’re outdoors.
While the best way to stay safe during a storm or outage is to stay in your home, here are some tips if you find yourself outdoors during a storm:
- Minimize driving in an outage area, if possible. If you must drive through an outage area, be careful at all intersections. Treat intersections with inoperable traffic signals as four-way stops and proceed with extra care. Stop at all railroad crossings, as the barriers may not be working. Proceed only when you are sure the tracks are clear.
- If you see a downed power line, stay at least 100 feet away. Electricity can travel through the ground. DO NOT touch downed power lines or try to move them. Call 911 to report the locations of downed power lines. SRP, along with area police and fire departments, will respond with urgency to these situations.
- If a power line hits your car while you are in it, stay inside the car until professional help arrives. If your vehicle catches fire and you must leave it, avoid making contact with the vehicle and the ground at the same time. Jump from the vehicle, landing with both feet together. Shuffle or hop away, keeping both feet in contact with each other until you are at least 100 feet from the vehicle. This may help prevent your body from becoming a ground path between energized and grounded areas or objects.
- Do not swim during a storm. Lightning can strike bodies of water.
- And finally, keep our phone numbers handy: (602) 236-8888 if you’re a residential customer and (602) 236-8833 if you’re a business customer. If you ever lose power or have questions, give us a call.