Powering up in Preparation for Summer Storms

While summer brings much fun in the sun, it can also bring the occasional severe storm; and with severe weather likely comes power outages. Restoring power after a major outage is no small task and involves lots of work; however, you can trust that Union Power is always prepared and ready to respond.

The major cause of most power outages comes from damage to power lines due to strong winds, fallen trees, and branches. We work hard, year-round through aggressive vegetation management to ensure power lines in our service territory stand little risk of being damaged by trees, branches, and other types of vegetation.

Despite our best efforts during major storms, extensive damage can occur to substations, power lines, and other electrical equipment. When this happens, our first priority is to safely restore power to as many members as possible in the shortest amount of time.

If you experience an outage, it is important to report it through our automated outage line. We urge members not to wait or assume that a neighbor will make the call. Sometimes, damage can occur on the service line between your house and a nearby pole, and your neighbor could still have power – so it is necessary that you initiate an outage call so that a service crew can be dispatched to your area.

Every time an outage call comes in, our system automatically signals an alarm to our Systems Operations Center. This helps us assess and determine the exact location of the outage. Once the call is received and the outage is located, we start mobilizing our line crews and other critical staff. Every phone line available is utilized to take your outage calls. Areas with the greatest impact/ problems are handled first – like damage to transmission lines, which serve tens of thousands of people. These problems must be corrected before we can focus on other areas where more localized damage may have occurred.

Our line crews inspect substations to determine if the problem starts there, or if there could be an issue down the line. If the root of the problem is at the substation, power can be restored to thousands of members at once.

Next, line crews check the service lines that deliver power into neighborhoods and communities. Line crews repair the damaged lines, restoring power to hundreds of people. If you continue to experience an outage, there may be damage to a tap line directly outside of your home or business. Make sure you notify Union Power so crews can inspect these lines.

Once an outage has been reported, members can call our outage line for an estimated time of restoration (ETOR), which gives them an estimated time to expect the power to be restored. During normal hours of operation or regular storms, we do well at keeping ETOR information up-to-date and as accurate as possible; however, during hurricanes and widespread outages, it’s a little more difficult.

As always, we will do our best to avoid power outages, but sometimes Mother Nature has other plans. Please remember, major outages can affect thousands of our members, so we appreciate your patience. Be sure to check out our website: union-power.com, Facebook: Union Power Cooperative, and Twitter: UnionPowerCoop pages on your smartphone for the latest updates during a power outage.

Also, make sure you have all your essentials prepared and available in case of widespread outages. Create an emergency kit that contains flashlights, batteries, nonperishable food, blankets, bottled water, and any necessary medications. If you know a storm is on its way, take shelter in a sturdy building and keep a fully charged phone nearby.

Never drive through flooded roadways or over downed power lines. Safety is the top priority for us and our members, and being prepared is the best way to ensure your family is safe during severe weather and other emergencies. At Union Power, we are preparing, too, and in the event of an outage, we will be ready.

Report an Outage

What is the best way to report an outage?

To report and outage, call 1-800-794-4423 and follow the call prompts. Our system uses your phone number to determine your service location – that’s why it’s important to update the phone number associated with your account. If your number has changed, please let us know by completing the form that comes in your monthly bill or by calling customer service.

How can I stay up-to-date on the progress of an outage?

The outage map on our website will show you the location and the status of every outage. If you don’t see your outage on our map, be sure to give us a call to report your outage. We also post updates on widespread outages to our social media accounts.