Coping With an Outage

Be prepared!

At Lyon-Coffey Electric Cooperative, providing reliable, trouble free electric service is our top priority.
Despite out best efforts, winter storms and the heavy winds, ice, and snow that usually accompany them are a major cause of power outages.  We offer these special “outage tips” to help you prepare for and cope with any power outage this winter.

Stock Up.

Radio and Flashlights – Keep a “power outage safety kit” handy.  This kit should include, flashlights, a battery operated radio, and a supply of fresh batteries.
Water – If you have enough warning before a storm hits, and your water supply would be affected by an electrical outage, fill you washer and spare containers with water for cleaning and washing.  (When the storm is over you can use the water for laundry so it is not wasted.)  You might want to buy a few gallons of bottled water to have on hand at all times.
Food – If you know a storm is headed your way and may threaten your electric service, turn your refrigerator to the coldest setting – but remember to turn it back after the storm has passed.  Food in a freezer generally will keep up to 48 hours, if the freezer is full.  (See attached charts for frozen and refrigerated food handling).
Keep canned food, a non-electric can opener and other nonperishable items just in case.  Freeze dried foods can be prepared with a minimum of heat.
During an emergency, a can of Sterno can be used to cook food but NEVER burn charcoal indoors.  Charcoal releases deadly carbon monoxide.

We’re prepared, too.
Long before a storm hits, we’ve prepared by tracking the path of any severe weather condition predicted in our service area with the latest radar and internet monitoring equipment and having Lyon-Coffey Electric emergency crews ready to respond.

Your call is important to us.
Call Lyon-Coffey Electric at 1-800-742-7395 or 620-364-2116 to report any emergency such as downed lines, hanging or burning wires or if you have lost power.
We have an automated phone system to handle your calls and help us identify you and the trouble spots.  We also send out our own patrols to search because the damage to certain circuits may not be visible.  Many of our lines are in areas not easily accessible, you may not see our men on the roads, but rest assured we are doing all we can to get your power back on as quickly and safely as possible.  It takes time to assess damages throughout our system and then prioritize our restoration efforts.
(See “Who Gets Power Back First” below)
Please be patient.  When hundreds or thousands of people call us at once – especially in the first hours of a storm – phone “traffic jams” occur.  We have installed a state-of-the-art phone system that can handle hundreds of calls at once and feel that this will reduce or eliminate the number of busy signals.  You will also be able to receive periodic restoration updates through this system.
Heat
If an ice storm, snow or any other major storm arrives in the winter, your house will stay warm longer if it is well insulate, has storm windows and is free of drafts.  If it seems likely your house will be without heat for several days, you should drain your water pipes and put denatured alcohol in your toilet bowl, tanks and sink drains.  DO NOT burn charcoal indoors; it releases carbon monoxide, an odorless and deadly gas.  Make sure that any backup heat source meets all safety requirements and is approved for indoor use.
Select one room in which to locate your family, preferably one with a fireplace.
Keep all doors in your home closed to reduce the infiltration of cold air.
If you are without power for an extended period of time and you are uncomfortable, consider temporarily relocating to where power is.  This applies especially to the elderly and children.
Close draperies to reduce heat loss through the windows.  Open draperies on the south facing windows during the sunny part of the day to help warm your house.

Stay tuned.
The best way to stay informed about the storm’s path and our progress in restoring service after the storm hits is to listen to the radio or local TV.  Our staff is working around the clock to restore power and to keep the local media updated on our efforts.  Depending on the severity of the damage to our lines and equipment, we’ll provide that information to you as soon as possible.

Appliances
To prevent damage, make sure sensitive electronic appliances such as microwave ovens, DVD players, and computers are protected with surge suppressors.  For complete protection when a storm hits, unplug appliances.  Turn off or disconnect appliances that would go on automatically when power is restored – refrigerators, freezers, water pumps, and especially stoves.  If a burner is on when your power returns, it could start a fire.
Once power has been restored, plug in one appliance at a time.

Who Gets Power Back First?
After a major storm, we tackle outages in order of severity.  First, we make every effort to make dangerous areas safe as possible – for example, by de-energizing downed wires.  We continue to assess damages and work with our members to identify the problems areas and prioritize the restoration efforts.

Before we can restore power to your home, we must first repair damaged substations, main electric lines and wires that feed power to your area.

Our crew and consumer’s safety always comes first.  Sometimes it is possible to bring on large numbers of those without power very quickly, which is our primary goal, then the crews go road-by-road and in some cases house-by-house to restore individual service.  We keep working until every home and business has electricity again.
If You Lose Power, Don’t Lose Heart.
We understand, many of us at Lyon-Coffey Electric and our families are without power, too.  We know how inconvenient and frustrating it can be.  We’re working hard to restore your power as soon as possible and we truly appreciate your patience.