September 2, 2014

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Resources and information available to Ohioans experiencing power outages

From Ohio Consumers’ Counsel

COLUMBUS – Hundreds of thousands of Ohioans unfortunately are without power after a severe storm yesterday.  “Power outages resulting from severe storms can present continuing safety risks after the storm has passed and Ohioans should take extra precautions under these difficult circumstances,” said Consumers’ Counsel Bruce Weston.  The OCC is offering important safety tips during this power outage.

Consumer tips for customers without electricity:

Monitor your and others health (especially for the elderly) in hot and humid weather;

Any use of gas-powered generators should be in accordance with safety instructions and never inside a home or garage where there is the danger of poisonous exhaust;

Stay away from downed wires, which can be still connected to electricity, and report them immediately to the local electric company;

Report any damage to wires, transformers or other utility equipment immediately to the utility;

Leave one light switch on to know when power is restored and generally turn off all major appliances and electronic equipment in the house;

Identify (from a distance) trees that have broken branches that could fall or cracks that may lead to a falling tree;

Use caution to avoid consuming spoiled food that needed refrigeration;

Consider any options for housing and food storage alternatives if needed;

In some cases, electric companies can give preference to individuals who rely on life support devices, such as respirators, ventilators or other medical equipment.  There are important steps these customers should take to ensure that their power is restored as quickly as possible.  It requires a medical certification and prior registration with the electric company.