With more freezing weather this week, including winter storm warnings for parts of Texas and even a few flurries in North Texas, it’s wise to prepare for the worst.
For Dallas-Fort Worth, “there is a low potential for some light wintry rain/snow mix along and near the Red River late Wednesday afternoon and Wednesday night,” the National Weather Service said. “Precipitation amounts are expected to be low at this time; therefore, no impacts are expected.”
We’re only a few weeks away from the anniversary of the February deep freeze winter storm, when widespread power outages happened across the state.
If you lose power, here’s what you should do to report the outage and to monitor power outages across the state. Plus, read on for some tips on dealing with a power outage.
What to do before reporting a power outage
Safely check your breakers to see whether any have tripped. This may help you avoid a fee if you report an outage.
Check to see if your neighbors’ electricity is out, if it’s safe to do so.
If the problem isn’t in your home, you’ll want to contact your local Transmission and Distribution Utility. Oncor Electric Delivery manages most North Texas power outages, with Texas-New Mexico Power Co. serving areas like Lewisville.
Don’t know your TDU? Check out the map below.
How to report a power outage to Oncor Electric Delivery
You can report a power outage or check the status of a previously reported power outage via Oncor’s online reporting tool. You can also call 888-313-4747. If you signed up for Oncor Alerts, text OUT to 66267 (ONCOR).
How to monitor Oncor power outages
On Oncor’s website, you’ll find a map of area outages. There, you can read how many people are affected and when power will be restored. You’ll also be able to see how many outages there are and how many people are affected.
How to report a power outage to Texas-New Mexico Power Company
To report an outage to Texas-New Mexico, call 888-866-7456. Select option 1.
Report your outage in the automated system (quicker) or wait for an agent. The automated system will provide updates on outages while you’re waiting for an agent.
Most outages are restored within two hours.
How to monitor Texas-New Mexico power outages
If you reported a new outage on the phone, wait at least 30 minutes before calling back for updates. They’ll provide an estimate for when power will be restored.
You can check the status of power outages in your area by visiting TNMP’s power outage map.
How to deal with a power outage
Have flashlights and electric lanterns in advance
Sign up for a power outage alert system
Ensure you have fresh batteries for flashlights and hand-held radios
Charge phones, tablets, rechargeable lanterns, hand-held video games, etc.
Stock up on bottled water and non-perishable food /snacks
Have a backup power source if anyone in your home depends on powered medical equipment
Print out the phone number to call in case of outages and keep it in a readily available location, and save it in your phone
You also may want to consider discussing with your children what a power outage means
Install smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms
Unplug all your devices until the outage is over to avoid damage from electrical surges
Report the outage
Seal openings around windows and doors for better insulation
Put on several layers of clothing to warm up and get cozy under a blanket
If it’s too cold, gather in a single room with fewer windows. Check with neighbors and local officials about warm locations open near you
Try to find an electrical source for power-dependent medical devices
If you have a portable generator, run it outside and away from any buildings
Keep your freezer and refrigerator closed
Don’t use a gas stove or oven for heating
Keep kerosene and space heaters away from flammable objects
Throw out any food that has been exposed to temperatures 40 degrees or higher for two hours or more
If the power is out for more than a day, discard any medication that should be refrigerated
Stay far away from any downed power lines and equipment