Lane Electric - A Touchstone Energy Cooperative

R-U-Outage-Wise

How Electric Service Is Restored Most Efficiently

During extended outages, many members believe that “they are always the last ones turned back on” during a power outage. This cannot be farther from the truth. There is a systematic and highly efficient method that must be used when restoring electric service to members without power.

Power must be restored in the following order to insure that all member’s power is restored. An individual service in the middle or at the end of a line cannot receive electricity until all of the repairs between them and the power supply have been made.

Below is a simple “step-by-step” process that has to be used when restoring power during a power outage:

1)  SUPPLIER’S TRANSMISSION LINES have to be restored first. Otherwise, there is no power for the rest of the system. We must confirm that our power supplier’s transmission lines are operational and supplying electricity to our substations first.

2)  THE COOPERATIVE’S TRANSMISSION LINES (if applicable) come next. Once we can confirm that our supplier’s transmission lines are functioning properly and delivering power to our substations, we must then confirm that our transmission lines are intact and delivering power properly.

3)  SUBSTATIONS come next. Before we can make any progress and move forward with repairs, we must make any necessary repairs to our substations to get them in working order so there is power available to deliver on the power lines that feed your home.

4)  Then FEEDERS AND MAIN LINES. These distribution lines leave the substation and supply power to the majority of members. Repairs have to be done there before electricity can be delivered to your home or business. Without them operating properly, you will be without electricity.

5)  TAP LINES or BRANCH LINES are next. These tap or branch lines come off of the main lines or feeders and supply one or more homes.

6)  Finally, INDIVIDUAL SERVICES. Generally these lines serve only one home. Most often they are the lines that go directly to a house from the pole.

Hopefully, the order in which electric service is restored, as described above, makes some sense. Please understand that at no time, does Lane Electric or any other utility randomly decide which services to restore and to leave off. Restoration of electric service is a specific process that takes some time to complete.

Preparing For Power Outages…

Lane Electric’s mission is to provide members with reliable service – day and night. Despite our best efforts, severe and unusual weather can wreak havoc and cause a power outage that can last for hours or days. We have developed a list of suggestions that can help you during the long hours of an outage.

Sources of Dry Ice

Safeway stores
Click here to find a location near you
Crystal Dry Ice

  • 690 McKinley, (corner of 7th & McKinley) Eugene, OR
  • (541) 485-2436

The listings above are some of the sources of dry ice available within our service area. If you are aware of additional sources please let us know.

What’s In your Emergency Kit?

Each year, in preparation for storm season, we remind our members that being prepared is the key during this winter season. You can avoid a lot of the hassles of being with out electricity BUT, you have to be prepared!

personal emergency kit imageiiPersonal Emergency Kit (click to enlarge)

iiTake a little time and put together a “Personal” and a “Household” emergency kit just in case a lengthy power iioutage or other natural event happens in your area.

iiWhen putting your “Emergency Kits” together, plan for longer rather than shorter periods. If you plan for the worse, iiyou’re likely to not exhaust your supplies in a shorter event. The old adage “it’s better to be safe than sorry”, is iitrue.

Your “Personal Emergency Kit”, can be built in either a 5-gallon bucket or a backpack – something that you can easily pick up and take with you.

Surprisingly, you can fit quite a few supplies in these containers. In fact, all the items in the above photograph fit in a 5-gallon bucket “Personal Kit”.

While you can pack anything you like, we have shown and listed things that we feel are essential. It is recommended that each member of the household have their “OWN KIT”. Remember, during an extended outage, you need to think about survival-type items, not vacation or picnic pleasantries.

 

household emergency kit imagesiiHousehold Emergency Kit (click to enlarge)

iiYour “Household Emergency Kit” may require a bit more space than a 5-gallon bucket or a backpack…but it still iishould be something that you can easily grab-n-go iiwith. As with the personal emergency kit, you can pack iianything you like. And again, during an extended outage, be thinking about basic necessities, not all the iicomforts iiof home.

iiFollowing are some ideas for items you might want to include…bottled water, trail mix, canned goods (soups, stews, iietc.), dried foods (fruit, jerky, tuna fish), energy iibars, water-proof matches, blankets, flashlight & batteries, paper products, hand cleaner & baby wipes, playing cards, rain slicker or space blanket, first aid kit, cell iiphones, laptop computer, solar powered radio, camp stove with additional fuel, candles and a battery operated lantern.

Be Prepared Just In Case

Lane Electric’s mission is to provide its members with reliable service – day and night. Employees are constantly at work maintaining equipment, removing trees from rights-of-way, and upgrading the Cooperative’s power system.

Despite our best efforts, severe and unusual weather can wreak havoc and cause a power outage that can last for hours or days. Snow and ice, high winds and lightning are a few examples of natural conditions that can seriously damage power equipment in a large area. Even with crews working around-the-clock, repairs are time consuming, difficult and often dangerous.

We have developed a list of suggestions that can help you during the long hours of an outage.

  • Always be prepared! Put together an emergency kit that is easily accessible in case of a lengthy power outage or other natural event. Supplies should include:
  • Access to a flashlight, radio & fresh batteries. Always keep the batteries separate until you are ready to use them.
  • Candles & matches.
  • Bottled drinking water. Be sure to store at least one gallon per person per day. If a storm is forecast, fill the bathtub with water so bathroom facilities can still be used by pouring a bucket of water down the toilet to create a vacuum flush.
  • If you have a fireplace or wood stove, keep kindling and dry firewood on hand.
  • Clothing. Wear extra layers and cover your head with a hat. Have sleeping bags and blankets handy too.
  • Easy to prepare food items. Purchase items that don’t require much cooking – canned or instant soups, stews or chili, packaged freeze-dried meals, and protein or breakfast bars are good to have on hand.
  • Gas camp stoves, lanterns or barbecues. NEVER use a camp stove or barbecue indoors! Be sure to use any lanterns on a flat, stable and non-flammable surface. Make sure to have extra fuel for cooking outdoors.
  • Ample supply of essential prescription medications and over-the-counter drugs. During a storm, road travel may not be possible for several days.
  • First aid kit. Make sure that all of the supplies are filled ready to go.
  • Games. Board games and cards are fun and handy to pass the time.

What to Do and Not Do when the Power Goes Off

If the lights go off, know what steps to take to be comfortable, safe and help the Co-op restore service quickly.

Check your electrical panel. Look for tripped breakers or blown fuses. Try to reset the breakers by switching them OFF then ON.

Call Lane Electric @ (541) 484-1151. If the power does not return report it to the Co-op. Also, report any flashes, bangs or trees in lines that can help repair crews locate damage. Telephone lines are answered 24-hours a day; if the lines are busy, please try back later. Once you have spoken to a Customer Service Representative and reported your outage, you will be logged into the outage system and scheduled for restoration. Our crews will restore your power as soon as safely possible.

Turn off major appliances. The water heater and heating system breakers need to be turned off to avoid overloading your circuits when the power is restored. Unplug any voltage-sensitive equipment.

Install surge protectors to protect voltage sensitive equipment.

Switch on an outside light. This may assist our crews in determining whether or not your power has been restored late into the night.

Keep the refrigerator and freezer doors closed. Food in a refrigerator will last 12 to 24 hours if the doors are kept closed. A full freezer can last 24 to 48 hours. Helpful Hint: You can drape a sleeping bag over your refrigerator or freezer for added insulating value in case of an extended power outage.

Listen to radio reports. Keep either a battery operated or battery free (hand crank) radio on hand for emergencies. During an extended outage, please listen to the local radio stations, KPNW, KUGN for updates and information.

NEVER GO NEAR OR TOUCH A DOWNED POWER LINE.

NEVER WIRE A PORTABLE GENERATOR DIRECTLY INTO YOUR ELECTRICAL PANEL

Portable-GeneratorPlease let Lane Electric know that you have a portable generator so we can make a note on your account.  If not used correctly, portable generators can cause fatal accidents involving the workers on the lines. Plug appliances into the generator. DO NOT connect household breaker circuits to the generator without an approved “double-throw switch” installed by a licensed electrician.

Important: Remember these tips during an extended outage. It’s easier on everyone involved. This information is very important.

Please let the line crews do their job. It’s tempting to stop crews and ask questions about when the power is going to be restored, but this only delays the restoration process. Remember that while the crews want to be helpful, they also want to restore your power quickly so they too can get home to their families.

Be a good neighbor. Severe storms usually increase the number of accidents and medical problems. Remember this increases the response time for service agencies. You may want to organize people in your area to check on each other and lend assistance.

Emergency water sources. Run off from roof tops can be collected and used for washing, but do not drink it. A water heater can supply drinking water. Be sure the breaker is OFF before you drain it, and be sure to fill it before turning the breaker back on.

Keep the freezer full. Milk jugs filled with water and placed in a half-full freezer can be a supply of both water and ice in an emergency. Also, it will keep the freezer colder longer if it is full. Check into purchasing dry ice to help prevent spoilage.