Preparing for an outage

Preparing for an outage

If your power goes out, will you be prepared? read further on this page to learn:

How to report your outage
What to do if your power goes out
What you'll need before an outage

What you'll need to know
How to anticipate outages
How to use a generator safely

To see our Outage Map, showing the number of outages by township, click here.

Please use the online Outage Map as a general guide to reported outages; numbers are predictions based on outages actually reported by members calling in. We try to keep this map available and up-to-date at all times; however, there may be times when it is not current. We apologize for any inconvenience.

A few features you'll find on the Outage Map:


How to report your outage:

If your power goes out, call HomeWorks Tri-County Electric Cooperative to report the problem at 1-800-848-9333 or 517-647-7554, or use our free SmartHub app on your smart phone or tablet. During major storms, with widespread outages, look for outage updates on our Facebook pagePlease do not report outages on our Facebook page as that page is not monitored after regular business hours.

When you report your outage, we will need the name that's listed first on your bill, or your service address and phone number. Any additional information you may have about the outage - for instance, if you see downed power lines or heard any sudden loud noises - will help us find and repair the problem faster.

Our automatic outage reporting system may answer your call. It will ask you to use your phone's touch tone pad to enter your phone number to identify your account. Please let us know if your main telephone number changes, as that is how the system connects your call to your account.

Calling the toll-free number: 1) helps dispatchers and line crews determine the scope of an outage. 2) lets you request a call-back once our crew believes power is completely restored, which helps identify any individual problems that remain before the crew leaves the area (and you can specify the main number on your account, or a cell phone number.) and 3) helps populate the Outage Map, which shows *predicted* outages based on the calls we receive.

We work hard to make sure your electric power stays on. But storms, animals, accidents and other events can cause the occasional power outage. You can make getting through a power outage easier if you keep these tips in mind:

What to do if your power goes out:

  • Determine if the outage is widespread (check with neighbors)
  • If you haven’t already done so, draw drinking water
  • Unplug appliances (especially electronics) to prevent power spikes when electricity is restored
  • Pay special attention to the very young and the very old for signs of hypothermia or heat illness
  • Turn off or disconnect any appliances, equipment (like air conditioners) or electronics you were using when the power went out. When power comes back on, it may come back with a momentary surge that can damage electronics or motors in appliances like the air conditioner, refrigerator, washer, or furnace.
  • Leave one light turned on so you'll know when your power is restored.
  • Leave your refrigerator and freezer closed to keep your food as fresh as possible. If you must eat food that was refrigerated or frozen, check it carefully for signs of spoilage.
  • Use the phone for emergencies only. Listening to a portable radio can provide the latest information. Do not call 911 for information - only call to report a life-threatening emergency.
  • If it’s cold, dress in several warm layers and wear a hat.
  • Never burn charcoal for heating or cooking indoors, or use your oven as a source of heat. If the power may be out for a prolonged period, plan to go to another location (a relative, friend, or public facility) that has heat, to keep warm.

What you'll need before an outage:

  • Emergency preparedness experts say it’s a good idea to be prepared to be self-sufficient for 72 hours. Are you? Below is a list of some things to have on hand. Gather them where they’ll be easy to find if you find yourself in the dark.
  • Here's a simple checklist from that you can print out and use.
  • Flashlights and batteries
  • Candles or lanterns and oil
  • Dry matches
  • Battery operated radio
  • Manual can opener
  • Dry and canned food
  • A generator? Decide now and do some research before shopping. If you’ll be using a generator, be sure to have proper extension cord

What you'll need to know:

  • The location of your main switch whether a fuse box or circuit board
  • How to reset a circuit or safely change a fuse
  • The phone number for HomeWorks: 1-800-848-9333
  • How to manually override your garage door opener

How to anticipate outages:

  • If storms are predicted locally, prepare for a potential outage
  • Stock up on nonperishable food items
  • Pick up extra batteries
  • Make sure you have adequate supplies of prescription medications
  • If you use a generator, get enough gas to have on hand
  • Fill several large containers with water
  • Turn your freezers and refrigerators to the coldest setting

How to use a generator safely:

Reprint of November-December 2013 Country Lines article on using generators safely  (102 kb PDF)

Generator safely guide       front      back  (each is a PDF under 200 kb)

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