Winter 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.
• 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. (See Oregon State University Extension Service for freezer and dry ice information at subutil.com/electric/outages/If your Home Freezer Stops.)
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 at subutil.com/how-power-is-restored. Take time now to locate this equipment, and if you have trouble, call SUB.
• Lane County resources at lanecounty.org – Search for Two Weeks Ready.
• Federal resources at ready.gov.
• Subutil.com/electric/outages/what to do during an outage.
• Oregon State University Extension Service for freezer and dry ice information at If your home freezer stops.
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.