SWEPCO offers five simple tips to stay safe
Southwestern Electric Power Co. (SWEPCO) is prepared for spring storm season, as thunderstorms, high winds and flash floods can pop up with little warning.
“Spring storms can do extensive damage to our electrical system,” said Drew Seidel, SWEPCO vice president, Distribution Region Operations. “The combination of high winds and heavy rains can often lead to uprooted trees or broken limbs on power lines.”
When storms and high winds damage the electric grid, SWEPCO crews work as safely and quickly as possible to restore power.
Follow these five simple tips to help keep you safe, prepared and connected in the event of severe weather:
1. Plan Ahead
Develop a plan for you and your family. Identify a safe area, and decide now what you’ll do if there’s an extended power outage. Be sure to contact family, friends, neighbors with young children, the elderly or people with medical conditions to ensure they also have a plan.
2. Make an emergency outage kit
Get ahead of storms by putting together an emergency preparedness kit that includes (at minimum): non-perishable food, water, flashlights, batteries, a portable cell phone charging bank, a blanket or sleeping bag, a first aid kit and any necessary medications.
3. Stay away from downed lines
Remember, all downed lines are dangerous — they can carry an electric current that can cause serious or even fatal injuries. If you see a fallen wire, stay away and keep others away, including children and pets. Call SWEPCO at 1-888-218-3919 or 911 immediately.
4. Remember, safety first
If the power goes out, always use caution with any alternate lighting sources, cooking, cooling or heating. Never operate lanterns, heaters, generators, fuel-fired stoves or burn charcoal without proper ventilation to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning and fires.
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.
5.Stay in the know
It’s easy to stay connected. Report outages and check restoration status by:
• Downloading the SWEPCO mobile app: SWEPCO.com/App
• Signing up to get SWEPCO alerts: SWEPCO.com/Alerts
• Following SWEPCO on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram for updates.