Preparing for a Power Outage
Our service territory experiences a wide range of weather-related outages and more. Below is helpful information in preparing for a power outage.
Blue Ridge Mountain EMC works hard to keep the power on for its members. Severe weather conditions or other unusual circumstances that cause damage to poles and lines can cause power outages. You'll be safer and less inconvenienced if you have the following emergency supplies on hand in a convenient location.
- Flashlight with fresh batteries
- Candles and holders
- Firewood and kindling
- Charcoal grill with charcoal and lighter
- Non-perishable food
- Radio with fresh battery
- Blankets, sleeping bags, quilts
- Oil lamps and extra oil
- Wind-up or battery operated clock
- Manual can opener
- Paper plates and plastic utensils
- Gallon jugs filled with water for drinking and cooking
- Formula and extra diapers for babies
- Thermos for keeping drinks and baby formula warm
When severe weather causes power outages, employees of Blue Ridge Mountain EMC immediately begin working to restore power to as many people as possible in the shortest amount of time. Serviced first are primary lines serving hundreds and sometimes thousands of members. Medical facilities and individuals on life-support systems are given top priority during outages.
When your lights go out, check with your neighbors to learn if they are also in the dark. If they're not, check your fuse box or circuit breaker to see if you can locate the problem. If the outage has affected your neighbors, contact Blue Ridge Mountain EMC at (706) 379-3121 or (800) 292-6456 to report the outage.
Power outages that occur in severe weather, or that last for an extended period of time, can place a heavy burden on the system at the moment the power is restored. To prevent an overload on the system and possibly another outage, take these steps:
- Turn off every inside light except one.
- Turn down your thermostat.
- In cold weather, close windows and drapes to save heat. Pick one room on the warm side of the house and use blankets to insulate the windows.
- If the outage lasts over 60 minutes, turn off the electric water heater.
- Make sure your kitchen range is off, both the surface and the oven. Never use it as a substitute for your heater.
- Turn off all unnecessary appliances.
- Avoid opening the freezer door.
- If you see a downed power line, STAY AWAY! Immediately go to a safe place and call Blue Ridge Mountain EMC. When power comes back on, slowly switch appliances and lights back on and gradually return your thermostat to its normal setting.
Power outages can occur during and after a snow or ice storm if lines are damaged. The following safety tips will help you be prepared, safe, and more comfortable if an outage occurs.
Prepare an emergency kit including:
- Battery powered radio
- A flashlight
- Additional batteries
- Bottled water and canned food, with a manual can opener
- Candles and matches
- First-Aid kit
- Extra blankets and quilts
- Include an emergency telephone list to contact the police, fire department, hospital, Blue Ridge Mountain EMC, and Sheriff’s Department if needed.
- And remember cordless phones don't work without power.
If you are at home and your area is under a weather alert for severe storms, shut off or unplug any sensitive electronic equipment such as TVs and computers to protect them from power surges.
- Verify if you are the only one in your neighborhood without power. If so, check your breaker box to make sure all breakers are in the ON position. If you still don't have power, call Blue Ridge Mountain EMC at any (706) 379-3121 or (800) 292-6456 to report the outage.
- Make sure to turn off all appliances, especially any heat-producing electric equipment such as electric stoves and ovens. Leave one light fixture on so you'll know when power is restored.
- Keep candles away from furniture, curtains, or any other flammable material. Never leave children alone in a room with a burning candle or open flame.
- Never try to use gas stoves, charcoal or briquette grills or camp stoves to heat your home. They are designed to be used only outdoors where there is enough ventilation due to the amount of toxic fumes they produce. If you use them indoors, you will rapidly eliminate the amount of oxygen in your house and increase the carbon monoxide inside your home. Carbon monoxide causes serious intoxication problems and even death.
- Stay away from any downed lines including power, telephone or cable. Do not touch any object that is in contact with downed power lines and can transmit electricity such as water, metal, etc.
- Never drive your car over power lines. If a power line falls over your car while you are driving, stay inside your car until you receive appropriate help.