How to Report a Power Outage In Your Area

How to Report a Power Outage In Your Area

Ever found yourself in a sudden blackout? Here's how you can report a power outage quickly and effectively.

Kendra Aquino By Kendra Aquino
Fact Checked
Thad Warren By Thad Warren

Common Causes of Power Outages

Outages can pop up unexpectedly, mainly due to severe weather like storms or high winds knocking trees into power lines. Other causes include vehicle accidents hitting utility poles, curious animals causing disruptions in electric system facilities, and scheduled maintenance by power companies to ensure the reliability of your electrical service.

Reporting a Power Outage

When the lights go out, reach out to your utility company ASAP. You can report power outages via their online "Report your Outage" tool on their website or by calling their dedicated outage reporting number. Quick reporting can help speed up the restoration process.

Contact your utility company

In an outage, contact your utility using the online tool or the hotline provided. When reporting, be specific about your service address or the location of the outage. For emergencies like downed power lines, call 9-1-1 first, then your utility company.

Necessary information to provide

You'll need to provide your exact service address or location, especially if you spot a downed wire or a dangerous situation. This information is important for directing repair crews accurately and quickly.

Utilizing Outage Tools and Resources

Modern technology has made managing outages easier. Use your utility’s Outage Center for real-time updates on outages, viewing outage maps, and accessing tools for reporting and tracking.

Checking outage status & accessing the outage map

You can check the status of your power outage by inputting your address on the provider’s website. This helps you track the progress of repair efforts and understand how many homes and businesses are affected.

Most Outage Centers have an interactive map that shows current outages. This tool helps you understand the scale of an outage and monitor when your power will be restored. 

Understanding restoration times and efforts

Utility companies prioritize repairs based on severity and impact. They provide estimates on restoration times, which can change depending on the extent of damage and ongoing assessments.

Subscribing to outage alerts

Stay informed by subscribing to outage alerts. This service sends updates directly to your email or phone, providing real-time information on power restoration times and safety tips.

Reporting Safety Hazards and Emergencies

If you encounter any safety hazards like downed power lines or signs of electrical fires, report these immediately to emergency services and then to your utility provider.

Recognizing safety hazards

Be aware of the usual and unusual causes of outages. If an outage persists even after it's been marked resolved, report it again to ensure the utility is aware and can act swiftly.

Reporting gas leaks

For suspected gas leaks, evacuate the area immediately, call 9-1-1, and then contact your utility provider to report the potential risk.

Staying safe during a power outage

During an outage, prioritize safety. Avoid downed power lines and use flashlights instead of candles to prevent fire hazards. Keep electronic devices unplugged and refrigerator doors closed.

Knowing when to contact emergency services

Contact emergency services immediately for imminent hazards. Use the designated hotline for non-emergency outage reports, providing accurate location details to expedite the repair process.

Tips for Effective Reporting

Report outages directly through the utility’s designated channels. Mention any safety hazards and check if the issue might be due to an external breaker, which could be a simple fix.

Reporting intermittent power issues

Report both complete and intermittent power issues promptly. Even if the power appears restored, report any discrepancies to ensure they are addressed.

Providing location information

Accurate location details are essential for effective power restoration. Always provide the exact location when reporting outages or safety issues.

Communicating effectively with customer service representatives

Clear communication with customer service can speed up the resolution process. Use all available channels, such as phone, online, or text, to report issues and provide detailed information about your outage situation.