Storm Preparation

No one can predict the weather, but you can be prepared. When it comes to your electrical service, we want to make sure you have everything you need to make sure you can stay a step ahead of any storms that might affect our area.

Reporting An Outage

Before calling to report an outage, call your neighbor to see if their power is out also. This can help you determine if the outage is a household problem or not.

To help save you time, we have an automated outage reporting system. During a major outage, our telephone lines can become overloaded. Instead of wasting time on hold, waiting to speak with a representative, take advantage of the automated system. This is a much faster and easier way to report your outage. Simply call 1-800-521-6322 and follow the options menu. You will need to enter your telephone or account number. Most people do not have their account number memorized and it can be hard to find in the dark, so please make sure that we have your current home phone number on record before an outage hits.

You may also visit our Outage Center to report an outage and get the most up-to-date outage news.

Safety Checklist of Do’s

  • Check all circuit breakers or fuses to make sure that the outage is not a household problem.
  • Turn off any major appliances that might have been on when the outage occurred, including your heating system. Make sure to leave one light on so that you will know when your power is restored. Then, turn on large appliances one at a time.
  • Inspect the area outside your home near the meter. If the meter or any of the piping and wires on the side of your house look damaged or are missing, call an electrician.
  • Have plenty of flashlights, portable radios, and fresh batteries on hand.
  • Have plenty of bottled water available.
  • Only burn candles when adults are present and keep them away from flammable materials.
  • Keep a freshly charged fire extinguisher nearby.

Safety Checklist of Don’ts

  • Never use an outdoor lantern inside your home.
  • Do not go to sleep without blowing out any candles.
  • Never touch or even go near a fallen utility line. You should always assume that any fallen line is carrying electricity. If a fallen line has come into contact with an object, do not touch that object. Call us immediately to report any downed lines: 479-521-2900 or 1-800-521-6144.
  • Never operate heaters or fuel-fired cook stoves without proper ventilation.
  • Do not burn charcoal indoors because it releases carbon monoxide.

Heat, Water and Food

During a winter outage, your house can stay warm for several hours. Having a well-insulated house, storm windows and sealing your windows will help keep your home warmer. Keep doors and windows closed as much as possible. If you have prior notice of the storm, fill your bathtub and spare containers with water. This way you will have plenty for drinking, cooking and washing until service is restored. Food will stay frozen between 36 to 48 hours in a fully-loaded freezer if you keep the door shut. If the freezer is only half-full, the food will keep for 24 hours. During winter months you can store food in an unheated garage or outside in a cooler.

Backup Generators

Some members use backup or standby generators to provide power during outages. We need to know if you are using a backup generator because of safety hazards they can pose to line workers and to you. Be sure to have your generator installed by an electrician and be sure that it has a manual transfer switch to isolate the device from the power grid. If they are not properly isolated power can flow back to the power line, causing harm to the line workers. Also, if the circuits are not properly isolated this can cause the generator to overheat, which could lead to an electrical fire in your home. The most common isolation method is to install a double-throw, double-pole transfer switch. If you do not have a load transfer switch installed, plug appliances and lamps directly into the generator. Please be sure to notify us if you are using a backup generator.

Personal Emergency Plans

Individuals who rely on electrically powered oxygen or other medical equipment should always have their own personal backup plan for coping with power outages and other potential emergencies. While we work hard to provide reliable electric service, we cannot guarantee the power will never fail. If your life or the life of a loved one depends on electricity, you need to develop a personal emergency response plan.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Ozarks Electric doing to manage major storms?

We continually monitor national and local weather reports. This allows us to be a step ahead of the storm by having plenty of staff available for restoration before the storm even hits.

Why can’t you tell me when my power will be restored?

It is impossible to accurately predict when your power will be back on due to many factors and challenges we face. We promise that we will work around the clock to get your power back on as soon as we can.

Where can I find information on the restoration efforts?

We work hard to keep our members informed during an outage. We send updates out to the local news media several times a day during major outages. Listening to the radio would be your best bet if you are without power. Remember to have an emergency kit handy, equipped with a battery-operated radio and fresh batteries.

Why do my neighbors have power but I don’t?

Generally, this means your neighbors are served by a different electrical circuit and/or transformer from a different direction than you are.

Who is responsible for clearing trees and limbs that are contacting power lines?

Ozarks Electric personnel and contractors conduct tree trimming throughout the year to keep power lines free of limbs and debris. Our crews do not remove fallen limbs or branches from your property following a storm. Do not attempt to remove tree limbs or debris away from power lines. If you have any limbs that you feel might knock down a power line please call us at 479-521-2900 or 1-800-521-6144 to report it.

Will Ozarks Electric reimburse me for the cost of meat and other groceries that spoil in my freezer and refrigerator?

No. Electric service is subject to occasional interruptions due to causes beyond our control. We are not liable for spoiled food or other financial losses caused by such interruptions. While we (like any other electric service provider) cannot guarantee service that is free of interruptions, we strive to provide the most reliable electric service possible.

Even members whose accounts have been marked as critical need to have their own backup plans for coping with power outages. The critical designation is only intended to ensure that we provide such customers with advance notice of planned maintenance outages. We are unable to provide priority restoration to critical designated customers during emergencies.

 

Link to information about Ozarks Cares, our community involvement initiativeLink to log in to MyOzarks, our comprehensive account management system
Link to our Outage Center, for information on current outages