Preparing for Winter Storms

Prepare a Safety Kit

  • Illumination, including flashlights, extra batteries and candle-lanterns.
  • Battery-powered radio
  • Corded telephone
  • Emergency telephone numbers

Tips Prior to the Storm

  • Disconnect sensitive electrical appliances, like computers and TVs.
  • If you choose to discontinue natural gas service, turn off gas at each appliance—not at the meter.
  • If someone in your home depends on electricity for life-sustaining equipment, you need to make alternate arrangements for them in advance.

Stay Alert to Dangers

  • Report downed power lines.
  • Avoid downed power lines and objects in contact with a power line.
  • Avoid standing water, as energized power lines could be submerged.
  • Never remove debris that’s within 10 feet of a power line.

Winter Outage Safety

  • Open faucets slightly to allow them to drip. This keeps pipes from freezing.
  • During the day, open curtains and blinds to allow the sun to warm your space.
  • At night, use drapes, blankets or clothing to cover windows, minimizing heat loss.
  • Never use a gas range or charcoal or gas grill for indoor heating.
  • If a space heater is used, maintain at least three feet of space between the heater and material that may burn and to turn off heaters when leaving the room.
  • If using a portable generator, always operate it outdoors and never connect it to your home’s main electrical panel.
  • If your power is out but your electrical system is unharmed, make sure your circuit breaker is in the “on” position. Leave sensitive electrical appliances off until power is restored.
  • Be a good neighbor. Check in on elderly or ailing neighbors to ensure their safety or to assist in making alternate housing plans, if necessary.

Outage Phone Numbers for AECT Member Company Utilities

  • AEP SWEPCO or AEP Texas: 1-866-223-8508
  • CenterPoint Energy: 1-713-207-2222
  • El Paso Electric Company: 915-877-3400
  • Entergy Texas: 1-800-968-8243
  • Oncor: 1-888-313-4747
  • Texas-New Mexico Power Company: 1-888-866-7456
  • Xcel Energy: 1-800-895-1999
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    • Joe
    • February 4th, 2011

    Anyone else find this funny, the association of electric companies gives up advice on preparing for winter storms, yet it turns out their members weren’t ready for winter. Frozen pipes took out 5 of their power plants plunging much of the state into darkness. Maybe they should have their own house in order before offering condescending advice to us.

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