We're ready for storms. Are you?
Warm summer months make conditions right for dangerous thunderstorms and tornados. In the winter when temperatures drop, heavy snow and ice can build up on power lines and blizzard-like conditions can put added stress on the lines. Weather events can cause damage to our electrical system and outages, leaving you without power.
Our crews work hard all year maintaining our system and are ready to respond should power outages occur. With safety as our number one priority at Jo-Carroll Energy, when our crews are dispatched to restore power they take all necessary precautions before they get to work on any downed lines.
We encourage you to also practice safety and preparedness to protect you and your family during storms and outages.
Storm and outage resources
Before the storm
Take a few minutes to make a plan for your family in case of severe weather and/or outages.
Talk to your family about what to do in the event of a severe thunderstorm or tornado. Point out the safest location to shelter, like a small, interior, windowless room on the lowest level of your room. Discuss the dangers of severe thunderstorms; lightning can strike 10 miles outside of a storm. Remember: when thunder roars, stay indoors.
Extremely low temperatures and blowing or drifting snow can also be dangerous, and staying safe and warm can be a challenge. If the power goes out, plan to use a safe alternate heating source, such as a fireplace or wood-burning stove during a power outage. Exercise caution and never leave the heating source unattended. Be sure that fuel- and wood-burning sources of heat are properly ventilated.
Make a storm kit. It doesn't have to be elaborate -- having a few items on hand is better than nothing at all. Try to include items like water, nonperishable foods, a manual can opener, a First-Aid kit, flashlights and extra batteries, prescriptions, baby supplies and pet supplies. Keep all the items in one place for easy access if the power goes out.
Read more in the preparedness section.
Need help making a plan? Check out a website like ready.gov where you can find good information on preparing and planning for emergencies including a "Make a Plan Form".
Preparing for storms & outages
Jo-Carroll Energy encourages all members to be prepared for storms and outages by having an emergency kit and supplies on hand. Assemble necessary supplies for a potential outage. Your emergency preparedness kit should include items such as water, food, flashlight, batteries and a first aid kit.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency recommends the following items as a starting point for storm and disaster preparedness.
- Stock your pantry with a three-day supply of nonperishable food, such as canned goods, energy bars, peanut butter, powered milk, instant coffee, water and other essentials (such as diapers and toiletries).
- Confirm that you have adequate sanitation and hygiene supplies including towelettes, soap and hand sanitizer..
- Ensure your First Aid kit is stocked with pain relievers, bandages and other medical essentials and make sure your prescriptions are current.
- Set aside basic household items you will need including flashlights, batteries, a manual can opener and portable, battery-powered radio or TV.
- Organize emergency supplies so they are easily accessible in one location.
Be sure to keep cell phones and other electronic devices charged, and have a battery pack or solar charger available.
During an outage
Here are some additional steps to take if a longer outage is expected.
- Turn off major appliances, TVs, computers and other sensitive electronics.
- This will help avert damage from a power surge and help prevent overloading circuits during power restoration.
- Leave one light on so you will know when power is restored.
- If you plan to us a generator, make sure it is rated to handle the amount of power you need and always review the manufacturer's instructions to operate it safely.
- In the event of an outage due to severe weather, listen to local news or a NOAA Weather Radio for storm and emergency information.
- Check JCE's social media and website for restoration updates. You can track outages on our outage map.
After the storm
- Stay off the roads if trees, power lines or utility poles are down. Lines and equipment could still be energized, posing life-threatening risks to anyone who gets too close.
- Avoid flooded areas where power lines could be submerged.
- Wear appropriate gear if you're cleaning up storm debris on your property. Thick-soled shoes, long pants and work gloves will help protect you from sharp or dangerous debris left behind.
- Allow ample room for utility crews to safely perform their jobs, including on your property.
Make sure your family is prepared to take action if flooding occurs.
- Heavy rain to dry areas can cause flash flooding. Stay alert and be prepared.
- It takes 30 days for flood insurance to start. If you need flood insurance for your home, don't wait until it is too late.
- Download a weather app that provides real-time updates for local alerts and warnings.
- Even a small amount of flooding can conceal dangers like debris or a collapsed road. Never walk, swim or drive through flood waters.
- During a flood, water can rise quickly. Never drive over a bridge with fast-moving flood water underneath.
- If you encounter downed power lines during or after a flood, stay back! Power lines can stay energized even if they're down.
- If your home floods, do not step into rooms where water covers outlets or electrical items. The water could be electrically charged.
- After you've been given the okay to return home post-flood, have a professional inspect all appliances, wiring and outlets and make repairs before use