Frequently Asked Questions - Power Outage
Call our toll free power outage number at (800) 216-5226. After you call, turn off the breaker to your water heater, unplug sensitive electronic equipment and turn down your heater or air conditioner. This will protect your equipment and also prevent a load surge on our system when the power comes back on.
Power outages can be caused by weather conditions, accidents that damage electrical equipment or mechanical problems. While we constantly monitor and maintain our electrical system, power outages cannot always be prevented. As soon as we become aware of outages, we have crews respond to the situation and begin the process of restoring power.
Typically the length of an unplanned outage will not be known until our crews have an opportunity to assess the situation. Power outages are a fluid situation and the restoration times may change depending on a number of factors as we work to safely restore power. In the case of major outages affecting a large number of people, we will provide updates to our customers through Facebook and Twitter and also send updates to local media outlets.
First, check to make sure that no breakers have tripped in your circuit breaker panel. If all of your breakers are operational, then there is likely a problem with your connection to our distribution system. Also, keep in mind that the equipment that services your neighbors might not be the same equipment that services you. Sometimes, if the problem is localized to just your connection, we will not know about the outage until you report it, so it's important to call our outage line at (800) 216-5226 if you haven't already done so.
Keep the doors to your refrigerator and freezer closed as much as possible during the outage. If the outage is longer than four hours, consider using ice or dry ice to help preserve your food. For information regarding food safety, contact the Grant County Health District. The US Department of Agriculture is also a good resource of information.
If you do not have drinking water stored, your best option is to go to a location that has safe drinking water and get enough to last each person in your household for the anticipated duration of the outage. The recommendation is a gallon of water per person per day in normal temperatures. In cases of extreme heat, it's two gallons of water per person. If you cannot leave your home and you don't know anyone who can bring you water, contact the Grant County Health District at granthealth.org or (509) 754-6060 or the American Red Cross (509) 663-3907 or redcross.org. If you are concerned about livestock and do not have a way to get them water during a prolonged outage, contact the American Red Cross.
If you have trees down on your property that are touching or have damaged power equipment, then do not go anywhere near the trees or the equipment until a Grant PUD crew arrives on scene and tells you it's safe to remove the trees. We do not remove fallen trees from private property and suggest you call your property-insurance agency to report the damage.
When the power comes back on, wait a few minutes before plugging in your sensitive electronic equipment and turning on your water heater, major appliances, and heater or air conditioning. After a few minutes, the circuits on our electrical system should be ready for the increased demand.
Restoring power is a complex and dangerous job. Sometimes after a line is repaired in one location, other damage causes the line to go out again. It also may be necessary to turn off your power temporarily to safely repair other problems.
If you are having a life-threatening medical emergency because of a power outage, hang up and call 911. If it is not a life-threatening emergency, find a place you can go that does have power. If you cannot leave your home, contact the American Red Cross at (509) 663-3907 or redcross.org. We will try to restore power to you as quickly and as safely as possible. It is important to prepare in case of outages. For more information click here.
If the outage is prolonged and you do not have a way to stay warm or keep cool, please contact the American Red Cross at (509) 663-3907 or redcross.org.
Portable generators should only be used outdoors, never in enclosed spaces, and away from windows and ventillation units. Do not connect portable generators directly to household wiring and do not overload a generator. Read more here. Also, never use a backyard grill or stove indoors. They produce fumes that can be deadly in confined spaces.
We cannot be held responsible for things that happened beyond our control and while we have one of the most reliable power systems in the world, we cannot guarantee there will never be power outages. If you believe you have been damaged through our negligence, review our Tort Claim Form.
When we assess how to operate and maintain our power system, we consider several factors. Here in Grant County, we have many open areas with few trees, and elevated lines are typiclaly the most efficient and effective way to deliver electricity to the majority of our customers.