For Immediate Release
Contact:  Matt Schilling
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PUCO helps raise awareness for National Preparedness Month

Public Utilities Commission of Ohio Offers Tips for Electric Outage Preparation

COLUMBUS, OHIO (Sept. 12, 2013) – This September is National Preparedness Month. National Preparedness Month, now in its 10th year, is a nationwide, month-long effort sponsored by the Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Emergency Management Agency encouraging households, businesses and communities to prepare and plan for emergencies.

While the electric distribution system in Ohio is typically safe and reliable, service interruptions can result from weather conditions such as thunderstorms, high winds or snow storms.

In recognition of National Preparedness Month, the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) offers these tips for being prepared in the event electric customers experience a service interruption.

Being Prepared Year-Round

For practical purposes, every home should have a storm kit. The following items should be included for those unexpected power interruptions.

You will also want to know how to manually open and close any electric garage doors, security doors or gates. Have surge protectors on important electrical equipment such as computers, DVD players and televisions. Be aware that during an outage, gas appliances with electronic ignitions will not work because electricity is needed to ignite the natural gas. Appliances requiring fans or other electric devices to run (such as central heating units and gas clothes dryers) will not operate.

What should I do during a power outage?

All outages should be immediately reported to your electric company. Since many other customers may be calling at the same time, you may not be able to speak with a live person. You can still report your outage by following the automated instructions. This will let the utility company know the location and extent of the outage. The company must keep a record of all outages.

You should also unplug all major appliances and electronics, such as computers and televisions, to protect them from a possible power surge when the power comes back on. By leaving one light on, you will be able to tell when your service is restored.

During cold weather, keep warm safely. Put on extra clothes or wrap up in blankets. Don't rely on gas stoves, kerosene space heaters, charcoal grills or other open-flame heat sources. Deadly carbon monoxide gas, which is odorless and invisible, may build up in your home without you realizing it.

For more information about National Preparedness Month, click here or call 1-800-BE-READY and for additional tips on being prepared during a power outage visit www.PUCO.ohio.gov or call 1-800-686-PUCO (7826).

 

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The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) is the sole agency charged with regulating public utility service. The role of the PUCO is to assure all residential, business, and industrial consumers have access to adequate, safe and reliable utility services at fair prices while facilitating an environment that provides competitive choices. Consumers with utility-related questions or concerns can call the PUCO Call Center at (800) 686-PUCO (7826) and speak with a representative.

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