West Oregon Electric’s mission is to provide our members with safe and reliable service – day and night. We are constantly at work maintaining equipment, removing trees from the right-of-way, and upgrading the Cooperative’s power system.
Despite our best efforts, accidents and severe weather can cause a power outage that can last for hours or sometimes days even with crews working around-the-clock, repairs can be time consuming, difficult and often dangerous.
We have developed a list of suggestions that can help you in case of an outage.
Better to be safe than sorry…
Put together an easily accessible emergency kit that includes:
- Flashlight, battery-operated radio & fresh batteries. *Keep batteries separate until you are ready to use them.
- Candles & matches.
- Bottled drinking water. Store at least one gallon per person per day. * If a storm is forecast, fill the bathtub with water so bathroom facilities can still be used by pouring a bucket of water down the toilet to create a vacuum flush.
- If you have a fireplace or woodstove, keep kindling and dry firewood on hand.
- Clothing, hats, sleeping bags, blankets.
- Easy to prepare food items. Foods that don’t require much cooking – canned or instant soups, protein or breakfast bars.
- Gas camp stoves, lanterns or barbecues & extra fuel. WARNING: NEVER use a camp stove or barbecue indoors! *Use any lanterns on a flat, stable and non-flammable surface.
- Essential prescription medications and over-the-counter drugs.
- First Aid Kit.
- Games. *Board games and cards are fun and handy to pass the time without electricity.
What to Do and What Not Do when the Power Goes Off
Know what steps to take to be comfortable, safe and help the Co-op restore service quickly.
- Check your electrical panel. Look for tripped breakers or blown fuses. Try to reset the breakers by switching them OFF then ON.
- Call WOEC @ 503.429.3021 or 1.800.777.1276. Report any flashes, loud bangs or trees that can help repair crews locate damaged lines.
- Turn off major appliances. The water heater and heating system breakers need to be turned off to avoid overloading your circuits when the power is restored. Unplug any voltage-sensitive equipment.
- Install surge protector power strips to protect voltage sensitive equipment. *The higher the Joules rating the better protection the device will provide.
- Switch on an outside light. This may assist our crews in determining whether or not your power has been restored late into the night.
- Keep the refrigerator and freezer doors closed. PLEASE NOTE: Food in a refrigerator can last 12 to 24 hours if the doors are kept closed. A full freezer can last 24 to 48 hours. *Helpful Hint: You can drape a sleeping bag over your refrigerator or freezer for added insulating value in case of an extended power outage.
NEVER GO NEAR OR TOUCH A DOWNED POWER LINE. NEVER WIRE A PORTABLE GENERATOR DIRECTLY INTO YOUR ELECTRICAL PANEL.
In case of an extended outage, this information is very important:
- Please let the repair crews do their job. It’s tempting to stop crews and ask questions about when the power is going to be restored, but this only delays the restoration process. Remember that while the crews want to be helpful, they also want to restore your power quickly so they too can get home to their families.
- Be a good neighbor. Severe storms usually increase the number of accidents and medical problems which increases the response time for service agencies. You may want to organize people in your area to check on each other and lend assistance.
- If not used correctly, portable generators can cause fatal accidents involving the workers on the lines. Plug appliances into the generator. * DO NOT connect household breaker circuits to the generator without a “double-throw switch” installed by a licensed electrician.
- Emergency water sources. Run off from roof tops can be collected and used for washing, but do not drink it. A water heater can supply drinking water. Be sure the breaker is OFF before you drain it, and be sure to fill it before turning the breaker back on.
- Keep the freezer full. Milk jugs filled with water and placed in a half-full freezer can be a supply of both water and ice in an emergency. Also, it will keep the freezer colder longer if it is full. *Purchase dry ice to help prevent spoilage.