KEC crews are on call 24 hours a day and ready to be dispatched throughout our service territory. The following are a few reminders and safety tips for winter storms.
If a power outage does occur, please call the KEC outage line at 1.877.744.1055 or report your outage using SmartHub. Our outage management system tracks calls based on caller id. When calling in power outages KEC members should call from the phone number KEC has in its system to identify the location. If you aren’t sure which number we have in our system for you please call our office at 208.765.1200 during business hours.
Preparing For a Storm:
Sign up for KEC's outage alerts by logging in to your account.
- Keep your cell phones charged.
- Have a plan for your pets and livestock.
- If your water supply is dependent on electricity, fill your bathtub with water.
- Ensure smoke alarm batteries have been changed recently. Also, consider how an outage will affect home security systems, garage doors and sprinkler systems.
- If you have a medical need that relies on electricity, the Food and Drug Administration published Guidance on Home Use Devices, recommending that individuals dependent on a medical device establish a plan for responding to a power outage and maintain medical information, a list of emergency contacts, extra oxygen tanks, battery backups and contact information for transportation services.
- Assemble an emergency storm kit containing:
- Flashlights and fresh batteries.
- Battery-powered radio or TV and extra batteries.
- Bottled water (one gallon per person per day).
- Nonperishable foods.
- Blankets, bedding or sleeping bags.
- First-aid kit and prescription medications.
- Hand-operated can opener.
- Special items for infants, the elderly or family members with special needs.
- A variety of hand tools.
- Identification and copies of important family documents in a waterproof container.
- Cash (ATMs may be unavailable).
For more tips on how to develop a family emergency plan and what to include in an emergency storm kit, visit the American Red Cross website.
Power Outage and Winter Weather Safety:
- Stay away from power lines on the ground. Always assume downed lines are energized even if the lines are sagging or broken. Call KEC at 1.877.744.1055 right away to report them. Don't assume someone else will call.
- Do not attempt to remove trees or limbs from lines.
- In the case of large outages in rural/limited access areas where snow removal has not been consistent, members should be prepared for lengthy outages.
- When shoveling snow off the roof – look up and be sure there are no power lines above you.
- If you are able, keep your driveway plowed to help our crews have better access.
- Unplug electronic equipment such as TVs, computers and microwaves.
- Turn off all appliances that were on when the power went out.
- Leave an outside light on so repair crews will know when power is back on.
- Have a battery-operated radio or TV. In the case of large outages, KEC notifies the media of the status of the outage.
- Have a cell phone or inexpensive, basic phone available to make and receive calls during an outage. Many cordless phone models do not work without power.
- Generators can cause a serious safety problem if improperly installed and could cause injury to utility workers and the general public. All backup generator installations must have a transfer switch installed in accordance with the requirements of the National Electric Code. Call the KEC office at 208.765.1200 for more information.
- Do not sit in an idling car in the garage to get warm. Never use a camp stove or charcoal grill indoors to generate heat.
- Consider opening kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors to allow warmer room air to circulate around the plumbing.
- Let the cold water drip from the faucet served by exposed pipes.
- If you will be going away during cold weather, leave the heat in your home set to a temperature no lower than 55ºF.
Below are some tips provided by ready.gov to making a power outage plan for those who rely on electricity for medical needs.
- Plan alternative ways to charge your mobile devices, and communication and assistive technology devices before disaster strikes.
- Plan how you will address your dependence on electricity. Tell your power company if you use oxygen- or mechanical ventilation. Be very clear about what you can expect from them in a power outage.
- Before disaster strikes, you may register with your power company. They may alert you when power will be restored in an unplanned outage and before a planned outage. This is particularly important if you use oxygen or mechanical ventilation.
- If you cannot be without power, plan for how you will obtain power backup. If possible, have backup battery, generator, solar or alternate electrical resources. Explore newer solutions, and also consider foot pumps and other simple tools that might suffice when nothing else works.
- Charge devices that will maintain power to your equipment during electric outages.
- Purchase extra batteries for power wheelchairs or other battery-operated medical or assistive technology devices. Keep the batteries trickle charged at all times. Find out if you can charge your wheelchair or devices from a car or using rechargeable marine batteries. Make sure you assemble what you’ll need in advance.
- Backup chargers for a cell phone could include a hand-crank USB cell phone emergency charger, a solar charger, or a battery pack. Some weather radios have a built in hand crank charger.
- Backup chargers for a laptop or tablet could include a 12V USB adapter that plugs into a car, an inverter, or a battery jump pack with an USB port.
- Receive important information on a cell phone or smart phone. Sign up for emergency emails and text messages on your cell phone from your local government alert system.
- Plan how you are going to receive emergency information if you are unable to use a television, radio or computer. This may include having an adaptive weather alert system to alert you in the event of severe weather.
- Plan for medications that require refrigeration.