Through rain and wind and snow and ice...Ouachita Electric Cooperative strives to keep the power on for every home and business in our service area. But sometimes unexpected conditions will cause our members to temporarily lose power. As a Ouachita Electric member, you are the most important part of our business and we strive to deliver consistent, uninterrupted service 365 days a year. When storms or other circumstances cause an outage, we take immediate action to restore service. Although Ouachita County Electric works as quickly as possible to get the power back on, there are some steps you can take before, during and after an outage to make it easier to cope.
- LIGHT: Always have alternate sources of light on hand. It could be a flashlight with extra batteries, candles, kerosene or oil lamps. Keep your alternate light source in an established place when it can be found easily in an outage situation.
- INFORMATION: Have a battery-powered radio available. The radio will bring you weather reports, local news bulletins and other important emergency information. During a widespread outage, Ouachita Electric will contact local radio stations about restoration efforts.
- FOOD: Stock emergency food and related items along with a manual can opener. Keep your refrigerator/freezer doors closed as much as possible to reduce the chance of food spoilage.
- PROTECT YOUR APPLIANCES: Turn off all large appliances that come on automatically and disconnect sensitive equipment such as VCR's, computers and TV's to avoid damage from lightning or a power surge. If all of these appliances come back on at once, they might overload your homes electric circuits. Leave a single lamp turned on to let you know when your electric service has been restored.
- PLAY IT SAFE: Never touch downed power lines or anything contacting power lines. Although you may see lines that are down, they could still be energized. Never attempt to move trees from power lines. Let qualified servicemen from Ouachita Electric handle the clearing and repair work.
- CONFIRM THE OUTAGE: First check lights and appliances in other rooms. If you still have power in some areas, most likely a fuse or a circuit breaker in your house has blown. If all lights are off, check to see if neighbor's lights are also off. This will help Ouachita Electric determine how widespread the outage is.
- CALL OUACHITA ELECTRIC: Call 1-877-252-4538 to report the outage.
When the Power Comes Back On...
- Give the electrical system a chance to stabilize by gradually reconnecting the appliances you previously disconnected. When the power first comes back on, turn on only the most essential appliances and wait a few minutes before reconnecting others.
- Before switching back on your heating unit, check the outdoor unit to assure that the fan and outdoor heat exchanger are free from ice and snow.
- Check food supplies in refrigerator/freezer for signs of spoilage. Don't take chances with food you are not sure about. When in doubt, throw it out.