Preparing for Power Outages
Severe weather can strike at any time and has the potential to cause an extended power outage. Power outages can also occur on calm days due to events such as unexpected equipment failure or animal-related damage. Sumter EMC encourages you to take the following steps to make sure your home and family are always prepared for power outages, especially extended outages due to severe weather events such as ice storms, hurricanes, tornadoes, and floods:
- Make sure Sumter EMC has your correct telephone number and address.
- Place Sumter EMC's phone number, 1-800-342-6978, and your Sumter EMC account number in a prominent place.
- Keep batteries, flashlights, a first-aid kit, and a battery-powered radio in your home.
- Keep a supply of canned or dry food on hand along with a manual can opener.
- Maintain an emergency supply of bottled drinking water. (1 gallon per person per day)
- No utility can guarantee uninterruptible service, so if you or a family member depends on a medical life-support device, you are responsible for providing a back-up source of power for the medical device or having a plan to evacuate to a facility that is not affected by the power outage.
- During a power outage and after checking your circuit breakers, call Sumter EMC to report your outage.
- Calls should be limited during major outages; after reporting your outage to Sumter EMC please call again only if your neighbor's power comes on and your service has not been restored.
- Stay away from areas where Sumter EMC crews are working. They can restore power faster if they are not interrupted. Before restoring power, Sumter EMC crews must inspect the lines to isolate damage, so don't be alarmed if they pass your home more than one time.
- Listen to your battery-powered radio or television for information about outage locations and expected duration.
- Never remove or trim debris from power lines, even if you think they are not energized. Sumter EMC's distribution power lines carry up to 14,000 volts of energy; a normal 120 volt household circuit can kill a human.
- Unplug electronic equipment and turn off electric heating systems and electric water heaters to prevent overloading the distribution system upon restart. Once the power has been restored for a few minutes, you can safely turn everything back on without a problem.
Be assured, Sumter EMC is equipped to restore power to you as quickly as possible.