The months of June through September provide good conditions for severe weather to form in Wisconsin. High winds, heavy rains, and lightning can cause havoc for electric transmission and distribution systems. Power outages due to severe weather are relatively common, so it’s best to be prepared for storms, even if they don’t occur.
Severe Weather Information
Wisconsin Public Service (WPS) has some good tips and reminders on its website http://www.wisconsinpublicservice.com/home/storm.aspx, which can help you before, during and after severe weather. Among them:
-Keep a portable, battery-operated radio handy to hear local weather forecasts and other important news bulletins for your area.
-Make sure flashlights are working and readily available. Always keep a supply of extra batteries on hand.
-Make sure cell phones are fully charged. Have at least one traditional analog phone in your home that does not require electricity to operate.
-If you have an emergency power source or back-up electrical generator, be sure to read the manufacturer's instructions for proper use.
-Electric garage doors have a release that will allow the door to be opened manually.
-Customers can track storm outages and restoration information at http://www.wisconsinpublicservice.com/outagesummary/view/outagegrid.aspx
To Report a Power Outage
If others in your neighborhood are also without power, WPS likely already knows you’re out. Equipment monitoring devices can tell if a line that serves many customers is not functioning. If your neighbors have power or you are unsure if neighbors have power, report the outage to the WPS electric emergency line: 800-450-7240.
Thousands of customers lose power in severe storms, so it could be hours, or even days, before everyone has electricity restored – especially if the storm(s) have affected a large part of the WPS service area. All available restoration crews from the company are dispatched, crews can be called in from other utilities as part of a mutual assistance agreement, and contractors could be hired to assist in the most widespread outages.
If you see a dangerous situation
Downed power lines, branches or trees on limbs, or damaged power poles are examples of dangerous situations. All downed lines should be treated as “live” and avoided. Call the WPS emergency line to report them: 800-450-7240. WPS will relay information to emergency services, if warranted.
If a fire is present, call 9-1-1 as soon as possible.
WPS will do its best to keep the public informed during outages, generally by contacting local media.