Power outages can be caused by many things including storms, overgrown trees and small animals. Outages are infrequent, but do you know what to do in the event of a power outage this summer?
If your power goes out this summer, here are some steps you can take to mitigate the inconvenience and get the power back on faster.
First, be sure to report the outage. Most people don’t realize it but retail electricity providers like TXU Energy may manage your electricity bill but we don’t actually restore outages. Your Transmission and Distribution Utility (TDU) repairs the poles and wires that bring electricity to your home or business. There are five TDUs in competitive areas throughout Texas. Your fastest and most direct way to report your outage is to contact the TDU in your area. Visit our site at txu.com/outage for a quick reference to their phone numbers and outage trackers.
Next, take steps to reduce energy demands throughout your home so that when the power does come back on you’re not overloading your home’s system by drawing a lot of power all at once. Unplug electronics such as your computers, tv and large appliances like window-unit air conditioners. These devices could be damaged by power fluctuations that may occur when the power comes back on.
Avoid opening your freezer or refrigerator as much as possible to keep the cool air inside the unit and preserve food. A full freezer will usually keep food frozen for 36 to 48 hours, and a half-full one for about 24 hours. Once the power comes on, you can refreeze food as long as the temperature in the freezer is still below 40oF. If the temperature has risen above 40 oF, discard thawed food. If the temperature in the refrigerator portion of the unit climbs higher than 40 oF for two hours or longer, throw away the food.
Keep your house cool from the summer heat by closing blinds and curtains, and avoid opening doors or windows any more than necessary.
Finally, consider putting together an emergency kit for when the power goes out. It should include fresh bottled water, a basic first aid kit, a flashlight with extra batteries, a battery-operated radio so you can listen to emergency announcements and a solar-powered charger for your mobile devices.