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Report An Outage

News/Events

December 30, 2017 - 3:29pm
December 30, 2017 - 2:19pm

Please use this form to report an outage.


Click here for: IOWA OUTAGE MAP

 

WHAT TO DO IF THE LIGHTS GO OFF BEFORE CALLING SIEC TO REPORT A POSSIBLE OUTAGE:

1.  Check your breakers or fuse box.

Make certain the problem is outside of your home rather than an "outage" caused because of too many items plugged into a circuit.  Check to see if there are lights at your neighbors' homes or nearby businesses.  That may be a hint that the problem is within your home.  This will help Southern Iowa Electric determine how widespread the outage may be.  It could be a large outage, or it could just be your transformer causing the problem.

Check the lights and appliances in other rooms.  If you still have power in some areas, most likely a fuse has blown or a circuit breaker has opened.  Southern Iowa Electric does not repair appliances or maintain the wiring inside the residence.  If we respond to an outage that has been caused by the member's own wiring, the member will be assessed a service charge.

Check the main breaker.  Some members have their service entrance located on a pole or a pedestal in the yard near the road.  In that case, please go to the pole or pedestal and flip the main breaker back and forth to make sure that it is on.  It's difficult to tell the correct position of the breakers without checking by actually moving them back and forth.  After checking the main breaker, also check individual circuit breakers by flipping them back and forth.

2.  How to report the outage.

If you determined that the outage is not due to a problem at your residence or business, call Southern Iowa Electric at (641)664-2277 or (800)607-2027 during business office hours; please call (800)927-5341 for reporting outages after hours. Personnel are on duty 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to take your calls. After hours Southern Iowa Electric uses The Cooperative Response Center to answer calls. The Cooperative Response System is staffed 24 hours a day and can answer a larger number of calls than Southern Iowa Electric. When there is a wide spread power outage, the telephone lines will become swamped and you may be put on hold or you may be asked to report your outage using an automated system.

When reporting power outages please be ready with the following information: your name, location number or account number which appears on your billing statement, and the nature of the problem.

STAY AWAY FROM DOWNED POWER LINES AND BROKEN UTILITY POLES.  PLEASE NOTE THE LOCATION AND CALL US IMMEDIATELY.  EVEN LINES THAT LOOK HARMLESS CAN BE DEADLY!

3.  Please be patient.

In general, Southern Iowa Electric will not be able to give members a time when the electric service will be back on.  The system is large and complex and there are many variables.  Crews will be called out to repair damage, and additional crews will come in from neighboring systems to help, if necessary, through the co-op's mutual aid program.

While most problems are resolved within hours, a storm can severely damage the electrical system and it can take days, or even weeks to repair and restore the electric power routes.  In an outage situation, restoring service as soon as possible, in accordance with electric industry safe practices, will be our highest priority.

Please unplug sensitive electronic equipment, such as personal computers and other electronics, in stormy conditions and always use an electronics-grade power strip available at hardware and electronics stores.

4.  Plan ahead.

Knowing that Iowa can be coated with ice in the winter and facilities damaged or even destroyed by tornadoes, lightning, wind or violent thunderstorms in the warmer months means that we all should have a written Emergency Plan, and back up power sources, especially for those who are on medical equipment that requires electricity.

Southern Iowa Electric encourages members to determine now where you and your family will go and what you will do in the event you will be without power for a few hours, a few days, or even a few weeks.  Planning ahead and establishing what to do in an emergency will go a long way in managing most problems.

5.  Tips for a "Power Outage Kit."

For winter, that may include firewood stored in the garage, so it is close and dry, sleeping bags, setting up tents so your family learns about indoor camping and cooking over an open fire in the fireplace, flashlights, extra batteries, candles, wind-up or solar-powered radios and cell phone chargers or an emergency generator to power certain appliances or even your entire home or business.

Dried foods and soups that rehydrate with hot water are easy for cooks of all ages to prepare.  Never use anything that burns fuel, such as a grill or a generator, in an unventilated area; they should be used outside to avoid the possibility of carbon monoxide poisoning.

During cold weather, close doors, windows and curtains to save heat.  Put on extra layers of clothes, and wear shoes and socks.  Select one room to occupy and make certain it's properly ventilated.  Use extra blankets to cover and help insulate windows.

A trial run will help families prepare for the unexpected and allow fine tuning for more comfort the next time.  Learning about how to cope with no electricity can be a family adventure and teach important coping skills.

For summer, an outage kit could include candles, flashlights, spare batteries, tents for indoor or outdoor camping, a grill and charcoal for cooking outside, and an accumulation of ice chests for keeping food cold.

A refrigerator will keep food safe and cold for about four hours if the door is unopened.  A full freezer will hold the temperature for about 48 hours, 24 hours if it is half full, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).  For more information on emergency preparedness, do a search for USDA or FDA food safety fact sheets.

6.  Safety First

Always keep away from downed power lines.  Touching a power line, or anything that is touching a power line, can cause serious injury or death.

Stay away from trees that are touching a power line; they can conduct electricity and cause injury or death.

Check the National Weather Service website, or tune into a local radio or TV station for weather updates.

Note: if you have trees or vegetation growing into power lines, please call Southern Iowa Electric at (641)664-2277 or (800)607-2027 during business office hours, or (800)927-5341 after business office hours, now so we can trim them back for safety.  This can help avoid potential outages caused by falling trees and limbs.

7.  Generator Safety

Never connect a portable electric generator to the main electrical supply coming into the house.  The generator could feed back into Southern Iowa Electric's system and electrocute workers who are working on the electrical lines.

To avoid back-feeding electricity into the utility system, a qualified, licensed electrician should install a double-pole, double-throw transfer switch between the generator and utility power in compliance with all state and local electrical codes.  A minimum of 10-gauge wiring must be used.

8.  Generator Sizing

Standby generators come in a wide variety of models and sizes and are available from several manufacturers.  Smaller, portable gasoline, diesel or propane generators are designed for smaller loads and should be located outside of the home.  Larger, permanently-mounted generators run on gasoline, diesel or propane and are big enough to provide enough power for a home or a business.  The larger units automatically start and run each month to make sure all systems are working and can alert owners if something is amiss.



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