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What to Do During an Outage

electrical storm

BEC members enjoy the most reliable electric service in the state among cooperatives—on average less than 10 minutes of unplanned outage time per member per year. However, temporary interruptions in service can still occur thanks to bad weather, falling trees and branches, misbehaving wildlife and accidents.
In the event of a power outage, our first priority is to safely restore power to as many members as possible in the shortest amount of time. While we do that, here’s what you can do before and during an outage.
Before an outage, create an easily accessible emergency kit with these items:
  • flashlights
  • one gallon of water per person
  • hand-crank radio
  • tool box
  • batteries
  • blankets
  • cash
  • first-aid supplies
  • manual can opener
  • nonperishable food items like granola bars, jerky and trail mix
Install appliance thermometers in your refrigerator and freezer. Doing this will help you tell if your food gets warmer than 40 degrees F—the danger zone for food-borne illness.
Keep the fridge and freezer full to keep everything cold longer. Tuck extra bags and bottles of water into the fridge and freezer to maximize the cold. If you anticipate an outage or receive notice of a planned one, think ahead and set your refrigerator temperature to the coldest setting.
During an outage
Always report your outage. To do so, you can log in to SmartHub and report online, use BEC’s SmartHub mobile app, or call 866-226-3372. You can also follow restoration efforts through our outage map.
After you’ve reported an outage:
Turn off all appliances and lights that were on when service was disrupted, leaving a lamp on so you’ll know when power is restored.
Keep your refrigerator and freezer closed. Unopened, a refrigerator will keep food cold for about four hours without power, and a freezer will keep food cold for about 48 hours without power.
Turn off the circuit breakers to major appliances.
Avoid burning candles as this creates a fire hazard. Stick to flashlights. Even headlamps work, especially for the kids!
Once power is restored, avoid overloading your circuits by turning appliances back on in 15-minute intervals.
We encourage you to be prepared before an outage happens. Create your emergency kit and practice what to do during an outage with your family. Be prepared and stay safe.
For more preparedness tips, visit www.ready.gov.

Posted: 6/14/2019 12:30:00 PM
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