Prevention & Preparation

Outage Prevention

Springfield Utility Board (SUB) does everything possible to ensure a steady flow of power to its customers, including monitoring and replacing equipment regularly with numerous maintenance and testing programs.

SUB’s electric system also has been designed with built-in redundancy. That means if one part of the system goes down, SUB can transfer that load somewhere else, reducing the amount of time customers go without power.

In addition, SUB protects its power lines in a number of ways. Animal barriers have been placed on transformers and lines to minimize the damage from rodents and birds. Also, crews trim the trees around primary lines to help prevent damage from falling branches.

How to Prepare for an Outage

Disaster preparation kit flat lay. Items needed for disaster preparednessWinter weather brings high winds, ice, and snow, all of which can cause or contribute to power outages. Service is usually restored quickly, but extreme storms have become more frequent and can mean longer restoration times. Being prepared allows you and your family to stay safe while SUB gets power back online.

Preparing for short-term outages is important, but getting your family ready for possible natural disasters, such as earthquakes and wildfires, requires more planning. Find links to shelter-in-place information and other resources at the end of this article.

Act now so you are ready later!

Gather in One Place

  • Flashlight, battery-powered radio, and fresh batteries
  • Corded phone that doesn’t rely on electricity (if you have landline service)
  • First aid kit
  • Car charger
  • Ready-to-eat pantry foods

Have on Hand

  • Extra blankets and insulated sleeping bags for each member of your household.
  • Bottled water, especially if you have a well that requires electricity to pump. A gallon a day per person is recommended.

Safety Tips

  • Limit the use of candles, which can be a fire hazard, especially in homes with children and pets.
  • If using a back-up generator, follow manufacturer instructions. Improper use can harm you and our service staff.
  • Don’t go near downed lines – treat all power lines as if they are energized.
  • If you have an automatic garage door opener, know how to use the manual override.
  • Know how to shut power off to your home at your breaker panel, if needed.
  • Keep a list of local dry ice suppliers to help with food preservation – many grocery chains now carry it.
  • Don’t cook indoors or heat your home with camp stoves – these can produce deadly gases.
  • Keep a flashlight in your car in case you are coming home to a dark house.

Important Wintertime Habits

  • Have enough prescription medications and personal care items on hand to last several days.
  • Keep your cell phone charged and your gas tank full.
  • Keep some cash on hand – ATMs might not work during major outages.
  • Stock extra firewood if you have a wood-burning fireplace.
  • Have fireplaces inspected and cleaned annually – creosote build-up can be dangerous.

For Outages Lasting Longer Than a Day

  • Check on vulnerable neighbors if you can.
  • Tune into the news often.
  • Keep refrigerator and freezer closed to keep food cool, unless you are adding dry ice.
  • Drape blankets over your refrigerator/freezer to help insulate it.
  • When power is back, inspect food to see if anything must be thrown out.

If Your Neighbors Have Power But You Don’t

  • Check your breaker panel – resetting flipped breakers may restore power.
  • Check your home’s weatherhead – this is where electric service enters your house from SUB lines. If it is damaged, you’ll need to contact an electrician to repair it before we can restore power to your home. See more information on power restoration on our How Power is Restored page. Take time now to locate this equipment, and if you have trouble, call SUB.


To report an outage to SUB, call (541) 746-8451.

Note: Major outages result in a high volume of calls. Please be patient and be prepared to call back. For updates, see the homepage of SUB’s website or follow us on Facebook.