Coping with a Power Outage
Through all types of stormy weather, your Benton Utilities Electric Department strives to keep the power on for every customer in its service area. But sometimes unexpected conditions will cause our customers to temporarily lose power. When storms or other circumstances cause an outage, you can rest assured that the Electric Department will take immediate action to restore service. Although the department works as quickly as possible to get the power back on, there are some steps you can take before and during an outage to make it easier to cope.
- LIGHT: Always have alternate sources of light on hand. It could be a flashlight with extra batteries, candles, and kerosene or oil lamps. Keep your alternate light source in an established place where it can be found easily in an outage situation.
- INFORMATION: Have a battery-powered radio available. The radio will bring you weather reports, local news bulletins and other important emergency information.
- FOOD: Stock emergency food and related items along with a manual can opener. Keep your refrigerator/freezer doors closed as much as possible to reduce the chance of food spoilage.
- HEAT SOURCES IN WINTER: When the power goes out, so do most heating systems. If you have a fireplace or wood-burning stove, make sure you keep plenty of wood during the winter.
- PROTECT YOUR APPLIANCES: Turn off all large appliances that come on automatically and disconnect sensitive equipment such as VCRs, DVD players, stereos, computers and televisions to avoid damage from lightning or a power surge. If all of these appliances were to come back on at once, they might overload your home's electric circuits. Leave a single lamp turned on to let you know when your electric service has been restored.
- PLAY IT SAFE: Never touch downed power lines or anything contacting power lines. Although you may see lines that are down, they could still be energized. Never attempt to move trees from power lines. Let qualified servicemen from your electric utility handle the clearing and repair work.
- CONFIRM THE OUTAGE: First check lights and appliances in other rooms. If you still have power in some areas, most likely a fuse has blown or a circuit breaker has been tripped. If all lights are off, check to see if your neighbor's lights are also off. This will help us determine the extent of the outage.
- CALL THE BENTON UTILITIES ELECTRIC DEPT to report the outage at 501-776-5930.