Your Power is Off. What Should You Do?
Verify your entire house is out of power. Check fuses or breakers.
If you have determined your home is out of power, unplug any appliances you were using when the power went out. Leave a light on so you know when power is restored.
If your power remains out for more than a few minutes:
Call 660-248-3311 or 877-352-0122 toll free to report your outage.
If the outage is widespread, our phone lines may be busy when you call. Please be patient; your call is important to us.
During a large power outage if a staff member is not available to assist you, your call may be directed to our interactive voice response (IVR) system, which will record your outage using your unique account number and phone number, through prompts. If you do not know where to find your account number, click here. You always have the option to stay on the line and wait for the next available staff member.
When reporting power outages please be ready with the following information: your name and location number, or account number which appears on your billing statement.
Outages occur for a number of reasons. In the event of a large or wide-spread outage, we prioritize repairs in order to get the largest number of members back on first.
- First, we check and repair any damaged transmission lines. These are the lines that bring power to our electrical system.
- Equipment or line repairs at substations will be done next in order to transfer power from transmission lines to the main distribution lines throughout our service area.
- After the substations are repaired, we turn our attention to our main distribution lines, and then to tap lines, which carry electricity from the main distribution lines to smaller groups of members.
- Once all distribution lines and tap lines are repaired, we begin working on service lines, which typically bring power to only one or two locations.
Restoring power during inclement weather or after a large accident can be a big job. Howard Electric maintains a 24-hour, 365 day-a-year dispatch center so if you should lose power, be assured we’re working as quickly as possible to get your lights back on.
Howard Electric tries to answer every phone call when an outage occurs, but at times, the number of members out of power outnumbers our staff. During a large power outage if a staff member is not available to assist you, your call may be directed to our interactive voice response (IVR) system, which will record your outage using your unique account number and phone number, through prompts. If you do not know where to find your account number, click here. You always have the option to stay on the line and wait for the next available staff member.
A "power blink" is when your lights appear to flicker for just a split second up to a few seconds. Power blinks occur when an object, such as a tree limb, comes into contact with a power line or other equipment. To prevent an extended outage or damage to the line or your home, a "recloser" will sense a change in current caused by the obstruction and briefly interrupt electricity for a fraction of a second. There is no need to report power blinks unless they are recurring.
Occasionally during an outage, your power may temporarily go out after being restored. In these situations, it usually means linemen are working on a power line or other electrical equipment in order to restore power to other members.
Howard Electric monitors our electric system and blinks on the system but we do not always know about outages until a member calls. After receiving a call, our software predicts who all is out of power so our linemen can work on getting power restored. To ensure we are aware of your outage, please call Howard Electric at 660-248-3311. Please do not assume that someone else has reported your outage and in some cases you may be the only service out of power so it is best to always report your outage.
By letting us know when you experience an outage, you help our crews restore your service more quickly.
The outage restoration process begins at the point where power feeds into Howard Electric's system. This could be at a substation or a main distribution line. After these repairs have been made, crews work on remaining outages and correct the trouble, beginning with areas serving the greatest number of members and continuing until electricity is restored to each member’s home.
If you see a Howard Electric service crew passing but not stopping, it is because work must first be performed at a nearby location or device before electric service can be restored to your home. Following the outage restoration process ensures all members have their power restored as quickly and safely as possible.
On occasion, your power may go out while your neighbor's power remains on. There are a couple reasons this could happen. Remember to check for a tripped breaker or other electrical problem to rule out an outage caused something in your home. Your neighbor may also be receiving their electricity from a different power line.
Howard Electric maintains a list of members who have medical equipment that requires electricity. Howard Electric will give members with special medical needs priority in the restoration of their electric service whenever it is reasonably possible to do so.
It is important to remember that extensive damage to our electric system could take numerous hours, or even several days, to completely repair. Members who must have electricity should be prepared with an emergency backup plan. The plan could include arrangements to move to an alternative location, use of a portable generator and/or installation of a battery backup on important electrical devices.
Each outage is a result of different circumstances, and some may take longer to identify and restore than others. As a result, outage restoration information may not be immediately available.
In some parts of our service territory, lineman must physically walk through fields to investigate the cause of an outage, which can be time consuming. Howard Electric provides updates on the status of large outages on our Facebook page.
Consider all fallen wires to be energized, regardless of whether or not they appear to be safe. Report the fallen power line to Howard Electric immediately. Make sure your children, pets and neighbors stay away from the power line and any objects it may be touching.
A generator can be a wonderful tool during an outage, especially if you have special medical needs and require electricity. But, it can also be extremely dangerous if used improperly. Be aware that it’s against the law, and a violation of electrical codes, to connect a generator to your home’s electrical circuits without a generator transfer switch automatic-interrupt device. Otherwise, if a generator is online when electrical service is restored, it can become a major fire hazard. In addition, the improper connection of a generator to your home’s electrical circuits may endanger service crews helping to restore power in your area.
Read more generator safety tips here.
ALWAYS STAY AWAY FROM DOWNED POWER LINES AND BROKEN UTILITY POLES. PLEASE NOTE THE LOCATION AND CALL US IMMEDIATELY (660) 248-3311.
EVEN LINES THAT LOOK HARMLESS CAN BE DEADLY!