Winter weather is here in eastern Oregon and Oregon Trail Electric Cooperative wants its member-owners to prepare to endure any weather-related circumstance this winter.
“Winter storms can be unpredictable and can lead to power outages and unsafe situations” said Eric Wirfs, OTEC’s Director of Operations. “OTEC is always prepared to respond with crews at a moment’s notice to restore power as fast as possible and reduce the amount of time any member-owner is without service.”
To ensure you are prepared for, and stay safe during, any outages, OTEC recommends every member to maintain an Emergency Outage Kit that includes the following:
- Battery-operated radio and clock
- Extra batteries
- Non-perishable foods
- Manual can opener
- Bottled water
- Supply of critical medications
If a power outage occurs, OTEC encourages member-owners to first check the fuses and circuit breakers in their home’s electrical panel. If the power failure was not caused inside the home or business, OTEC member-owners should report the outage by calling 1-866-430-4265.
Additionally, OTEC suggest these safety precautions once a storm has hit:
- Stay away from any downed power lines at least 50 feet. Even if the lines are not sparking, they could be energized and are extremely dangerous. Call 911 immediately to report downed power lines.
- Never drive over any downed power line.
- If you are inside a vehicle, and a downed power line is within 50 feet, stay inside the vehicle and call 911.
- If you are using a generator, read the instructions. Never plug it into an outlet and don't connect a generator directly to your home's main fuse box or circuit panel. Generators can be extremely dangerous to OTEC personnel if used/installed incorrectly.
- If it's a gas-powered generator, never refuel the unit while it’s operating. Avoid spilling gas or other fuels on hot components. Always use these generators outdoors to avoid carbon monoxide build-up inside spaces where people are present.
Find more information and tips on winter and generator safety at otec.coop/safety.