Southwestern Electric Power Co. (SWEPCO) reminds customers to prepare for hurricane season, which began June 1 and continues through Nov. 30.
While SWEPCO’s three-state service territory is not directly on the Gulf Coast, Hurricanes Laura and Delta in 2020 showed the severe impact that strong storms can have as they move inland.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is projecting a very active hurricane season. This increases the importance of planning now for the possibility of a storm that results in extended power outages.
Most importantly, customers on life support systems or other medical equipment, which rely on electricity, are reminded to have a backup plan for situations where prolonged outages may occur.
“We closely monitor hurricane activity and other severe storm threats, and we stand ready to respond if our customers are impacted,” said Drew Seidel, SWEPCO vice president of Distribution Region Operations. “We urge customers to be prepared ahead of any storms to keep your home and family safe. SWEPCO will keep you informed, and if outages occur, we will restore power as safely and quickly as possible.”
1. Plan ahead.
Develop a plan for you and your family. Identify a safe area, and decide now what you’ll do if there’s an extended power outage. Be sure to contact family, friends, neighbors with young children, the elderly or people with medical conditions to ensure they also have a plan.
2. Make an emergency outage kit.
Get ahead of storms by putting together an emergency preparedness kit that includes:
- Flashlights and fresh batteries
- Battery-powered radios or televisions
- Candles, matches or lighters
- Water for drinking and cooking
- Camping equipment like sleeping bags, camp stoves and lanterns
- Non-perishable food and a manual can opener
- Important medicines (prescription and over-the-counter) and medical supplies
- Supplies for babies and pets
- First aid kit
- Masks, soap, hand sanitizer, disinfecting wipes
- Manufacturers’ instructions for your generator (if you have one)
- Instructions for how to manually open your garage door
For additional information, visit:
3. Remember, safety first.
- Always use caution with any alternate sources of lighting, cooking, cooling or heating. Never operate lanterns, heaters, generators, fuel-fired stoves or burn charcoal without proper ventilation to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning and fires.
- If you use a portable or RV generator, do not plug the generator into your home’s main electrical panel. This can “back-feed” electricity into outside utility lines, creating the danger of electrocution for repair crews and the public. Instead, read the manufacturer’s instructions, and only plug essential appliances directly into the generator.
- All downed lines should be considered dangerous — they can carry an electric current that can cause serious or even fatal injuries. If you see a fallen wire, stay away and keep others away, including children and pets. Call SWEPCO at 1-888-218-3919 or 911 immediately.
4. Stay in the know.
It’s easy to stay connected, report outages and check power restoration status: