Weathering Power Outages: Tips from Vermont Electric Co-op
Johnson, Vt - Storms, vehicle collisions with utility poles – and even animals getting caught in electric equipment - can knock out electricity from time to time, despite VEC’s ongoing efforts to minimize power interruptions. As we enter the winter season it’s especially important to be sure you and your family are prepared.
There’s no time like the present to build or restock your household emergency kit and gear. Here’s a list of items to have easily at hand in case of a power outage:
- Battery powered flashlight(s) or headlamp(s)
- Battery powered portable radio
- Battery powered clock
- Back up cell phone power bank
- Extra batteries
- Dry and warm clothing
- Sleeping bags and/or blankets
- Bottled water
- A supply of foods which can be consumed with little to no preparation. Items could include energy bars, peanut butter, dried fruits, nuts/trail mix, and canned goods.
- Toiletries such as towelettes/wipes, diapers and prescription medications.
- Manual can opener
- First aid kit
If a storm that could cause outages is in the forecast, here are a few things you might want to keep in mind:
- Plan for medical needs/devices. If someone in your home is dependent on electric-powered medical equipment, make sure you have a battery backup or make alternative arrangements to ensure their needs are met.
- Stock water. Fill a bathtub if you have one, so you have water to flush the toilet. (Avoid unsupervised bathroom access to children). Fill large containers for drinking water or buy bottled water.
- Charge cell phones, tablets, computers, and any backup power banks you have. Be sure vehicles are fueled. If you have a generator, be sure it’s in working order and fueled.
- Download work/school materials. That way you could stay productive if your internet is down.
- Watch the forecast. Keep updated with storm alerts and news from the National Weather Service.
- During an outage, you can get updates on estimated times of power restoration at VEC’s Outage Center on the website at https://vermontelectric.coop/outage-center as well as on VEC’s Facebook and Twitter feeds. You can also sign up to receive outage notifications through VEC’s online portal, SmartHub, here https://vermontelectric.coop/smarthub.
- For more information about managing outages, please visit https://vermontelectric.coop/electric-system/safety.