After Reporting the Outage...
Gibson EMC encourages those who are experiencing outages to call their local member service centers or the toll-free outage line at 1-800-977-4076. When reporting an outage, be prepared to give your name, address and telephone number. It is helpful if you can report whether your neighbors’ lights are out, if you see electric lines down, or if you heard a loud noise just prior to the outage.
After you have reported your outage, take these additional steps to help protect yourself, your loved ones and your home:
Keep refrigerator and freezer doors closed. Refrigerated food will remain good for only four to six hours. Place a thermometer inside the refrigerator. If the temperature rises above 40 degrees, the food may spoil. The optimum time for frozen food is 72 hours; but, as long as food in the freezer still has ice crystals on it, it is safe. If food is thawed, but still cold, it can safely be cooked (if there is a cooking source) and frozen again.
Be very careful with emergency cooking and heating equipment such as camp stoves and fireplaces. Do not use charcoal grills inside your home; charcoal fumes are poisonous in an unventilated area.
While the power is off, turn off your major electrical appliances such as water heaters and heating systems. After the power comes back on, wait about 15 minutes and then turn on the appliances one at a time. This will help avoid additional outages caused by overloads. If you have a heat pump and the outage lasts for three hours or more, do not immediately reset it to the “on” position once power is restored. Instead, wait a few minutes and place the system switch in the “emergency heat” position. This will quickly bring your home to normal temperature. Leave the switch in the “emergency heat” position for 24 hours. At the end of 24 hours, set the thermostat for heat pump operation. This will restart your unit in the heat pump mode.
Finally, be sure to stay away from downed electric lines and report them to Gibson EMC immediately.