As potentially severe winter weather approaches Texas, Louisiana and Arkansas this weekend, SWEPCO has requested additional line and tree crews in advance of the storm.
“We’re closely monitoring weather forecasts to see where snow and sleet may turn to freezing rain and ice,” said Drew Seidel, SWEPCO vice president of Region Distribution Operations. “Ice of more than a quarter-inch on power lines and trees could cause significant utility problems.”
More than 600 SWEPCO employees and contractors are on standby. SWEPCO has asked other utilities to send 370 additional line and tree workers.
The weight of snow and ice can bring down trees and power lines while snow- or ice-covered roads slow our ability to get to damaged poles, transformers, and wires. Storm restoration work is extremely challenging when temperatures remain below freezing for several days.
SWEPCO’s storerooms and supply yards are stocked. The company has worked with vendors to ensure additional poles and equipment will be available if needed.
Take steps to prepare
SWEPCO customers are encouraged to be prepared for the possibility of power outages.
· Keep cell phones charged and ready.
· Be sure to have an adequate supply of any medications and medical supplies, plus any supplies needed for babies and pets.
· For those with medical needs requiring electricity, SWEPCO advises to have a back-up plan in place in the event of an extended outage.
· Customers can be prepared with an emergency kit, including blankets, flashlights and other supplies (see details below).
How to report, track outages
· Use the SWEPCO app, available for download via the App Store or Google Play.
· Sign up for text and email updates, including estimated time of restoration, at SWEPCO.com/Alerts.
· Visit SWEPCO.com/OutageMap to find detailed outage information without logging into your account.
· Call 1-888-218-3919 to report your outage or hazard.
· For updates and photos, see SWEPCO.com and follow SWEPCO on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
· Downed power lines – Treat all downed lines as if they are carrying electricity. Stay away, and keep others away, especially children and pets. Don’t touch anything in contact with the line, such as trees or fences. Call SWEPCO immediately to report downed lines.
· Portable generators – Be careful using any alternate sources for heating, cooling, cooking or lighting. If you use a portable or RV generator, do not plug the generator into your home’s main electrical panel. This can “back-feed” electricity into outside utility lines, creating the danger of electrocution for repair crews and the public. Instead, read the manufacturer’s instructions, and only plug essential appliances directly into the generator.
Create an emergency outage kit
Be prepared should the power go out. Assemble an emergency outage kit that includes the following items, at a minimum:
· Flashlights and fresh batteries
· Candles, matches, or lighters
· Water for drinking and cooking
· Camping equipment (sleeping bags, camp stoves, lanterns)
· Non-perishable food and a manual can opener
· Manufacturers’ instructions for power-operated equipment such as the garage door, generator
· Important medicines you need to take. Better to locate them while the power is still on than fumbling around in the dark should the power go out.
NOTE: Always use caution with any alternate sources of lighting, cooking or heat.
More information on what do to prepare for an outage may be found at SWEPCO.com/Outages