What to Do During a Power Outage


The spring season usually means warmer weather, sunshine and blooming flowers. Another occurrence of spring is storms. Lots of them. These storms are great to help give our plants water and keep us out of a drought. However, sometimes these storms can cause temporary power outages. To make the situation easier and as safe as possible, here’s some information on what you can do during a short-term power outage.

First things first, check out the window to see if your neighbors have power. If they do, check your breaker box to see if any switches have flipped. If your neighbors are without power too, it’s safe to say that there’s a classic power failure. Most of the time, if the power goes out, it returns quickly (from less than a minute to 30 minutes). However, if it doesn’t, report it! Chances are, your Transmission and Distribution Service Provider (TDSP) is already working toward a quick fix, but reporting it can help them determine how many homes are effected in each area. If you have medical supplies dependent on electricity, you should definitely call so your home can be a top priority.

When the grid turns back on, there is a surge of electricity to many different sources (multiple outlets in multiple homes). Sometimes this can put a great deal of pressure on the grid when it comes back on, resulting in a blown fuse to high power devices or older homes. To help relieve grid strain from the surge and keep your electrical components and their appliances in good working order, unplug until power is restored. This could be the TV, lamps, microwaves or kitchen appliances other than the fridge. Do be sure to leave a few things plugged in, such as a lamp, to signal when the power is live again. When the power is back on wait a few minutes before plugging in devices again.

It’s also important to be mindful of the refrigerator and freezer. Do not open the doors during a power outage so the cool air will stay inside as long as possible, keeping the food at safe temperatures. If the power outage turns into more than short term, check out this information from the National Center for Home Food Preservation to determine what should be tossed, kept or eaten immediately. It is a good idea to have an emergency preparedness kit that has water and shelf stable food, plus batteries and flash lights, in the event that the outage is prolonged.

For the most part, use your time during a power outage to enjoy the time unplugged. We live in such a technological age that sometimes a power outage is the only way we can really separate ourselves from our phones, the TV or the computer. You could go outside for a walk, play games with your family, or read a book or magazine. It’s an opportunity to take a break, and everyone deserves a break.

To report power outages in your area, you can call your utility company:

  • AEP – Texas Central Service Area – 866-223-8508
  • AEP – Texas North Service Area – 866-223-8508
  • CenterPoint Energy Service Area – 800-332-7143
  • Oncor Electric Delivery Service Area – 888-313-4747
  • Oncor Electric Delivery – West Service Area – 888-313-4747
  • Sharyland Utilities, L.P. Service Area – 956-668-9551
  • Texas New Mexico Power Service Area – 888-866-7456

Check back every month for new blogs on helpful electricity tips and advice that fits your lifestyle. To compare and see the Cirro Energy advantage, check out our residential comparison page and make the switch today. Cirro Energy, the easy choice for people who like easy choices.

To speak with a Customer Care agent, residential customers can call 1-800-MY-CIRRO, daily from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Central Time, and small business customers can call Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Central Time. Customers can also chat online with a Customer Care agent Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Central Time with any questions you may have.