Outage Safety

Linemen Repairing an Outage


  • Never touch a downed wire regardless of how harmless it looks!  Stay away from it and keep others away, too.  Report it immediately to Alfalfa Electric at 580-596-3333 or 888-736-3837.  If you cannot contact us, call the local police or fire department.  During a severe storm with many areas affected, it could take some time for us to make repairs.  In this case, police or firemen may guard the downed line.


Electric Life Support Equipment

If someone in your household relies on electric life support equipment, notify AEC at 580-596-3333 or 888-736-3837.  Though we cannot guarantee uninterrupted service, special attention can be given to restoring electricity to electric life support equipment during an outage.  You may also want to consider temporary precautionary measures such as moving the patient to a hospital or contacting local police or fire departments for emergency equipment.


Emergency Generators

  • The decision to invest in emergency generating equipment is a personal judgment based on one's own need for uninterrupted service.
  • Owning your own generator is ideal, but installing it is not a do-it-yourself project.  Have a qualified electrician install an emergency generator according to the National Electrical Code and local ordinances.  Make sure the generator has a manual or automatic switch that disconnects it from the main power line.  This is a legal requirement.  If for some reason you have not met this requirement, use the main switch on your service panel to cut power.
  • A generator that remains connected to the main power lines can backfeed power into them, shocking unsuspecting utility workers.  A direct-connected generator also may result in a short circuit that can damage the electrical system or create a fire hazard.  The generator itself may be damaged or destroyed.



  • Don't operate lanterns, heaters or fuel-fired cook stoves without adequate ventilation.
  • Do no burn charcoal indoors because it releases carbon monoxide.
  • Always refuel outside away from flames or sparks.
  • Don't store fuel inside your home.
  • Wipe up fuel spills immediately. 
  • Don't allow children to carry candles or oil lamps around the house.  A fall could spell disaster!


Emergency Kit For Family Members and Pets

  • See the "Get a Survival Kit" page from the American Red Cross for a list of supplies you should include in an emergency kit for your family members and pets.



  • In warm weather the refrigerator will become warm despite your efforts to avoid opening the door.  So, use perishable foods as soon as possible.
  • In winter, outdoor temperatures will provide good refrigeration.  Or, freeze a bucket of water overnight and put in the refrigerator to keep foods cool.



  • Do not open the freezer during a power outage.  Opening the door or lid shortens the time that food will stay frozen.  A full freezer will stay colder longer than one that is half full.  To be prepared in advance for a possible power outage, freeze water in slightly under filled plastic jugs and use them to fill empty spaces.
  • You may safely refreeze foods that have thawed if they still contain ice crystals or if they are still cold - about 40oF - and have been held at this temperature no longer than one or two days after thawing.  Food warmed to 40oF or higher should not be refrozen.
  • Examine each package of food before you decide what to do with it.  If the color or odor of the thawed foods is poor or questionable discard it!  Do not refreeze foods that are highly susceptible to food spoilage such as poultry, seafood, ice cream or cream sauce mixtures.


Disconnect major appliances

  • Turn off electrical appliances which were operating at the time the power went off, including your heating system.  Leave on one light so you'll know when service has been restored.  Don't turn on everything at once.  This will permit the power to be put back in the line without being knocked off again by the automatic limiting devices that protect our systems from overloads.
  • Turning off surface units, the oven, or any part of the range that was "on" when the power went off could eliminate a possible fire hazard if the power comes on when no one is home.
  • If you drain your electric water heater to prevent damage from freezing, it's an absolute necessity to turn off the appropriate circuit breaker or remove the necessary fuse to disconnect the water heater.  Otherwise, you could burn out the heating elements should the power come on while the water heater is empty.


Water Supply

  • If an outage is prolonged, the lack of water becomes a real problem.  You should try to store several gallons of drinking water for such emergencies.  Use clean glass or plastic containers. Metal ones will oxidize and give the water an unpleasant taste.  Plastic containers are preferable since they will not break.  Boil water before storing when you cannot sterilize the container.  Water in tightly sealed containers will stay fresh indefinitely.  And for an extra measure of safety, boil the water before use.


Automatic Garage Door Openers

  • Consult the manufacturer's instructions on how to open the door during a power outage.  If you don't have a manual, check with your home builder or automatic garage door service dealer in your area.