When Power Goes Out
Most power outages are caused by storms or accidents. Although these forces are beyond our control, we know you rely on electricity, so we're ready to respond quickly and safely.
When your power is out:
- See if your neighbors' power is out:
- If it is not, check your fuses or circuit breakers.
- If it is, look out your windows for anything unusual like fallen wires or tree limbs on a line. Stay away from any downed wires.
- Call MGE to report the situation at your home or business. MGE depends on customers calling us when their power goes out to help us most quickly identify and fix the cause. We can only restore electric service for MGE electric customers. If you receive electric service from a different company, MGE will be unable to help you.
- Minimize potential for further impact:
- Unplug sensitive electronic equipment and turn off light switches to help prevent overloads when power is restored.
- Keep refrigerator and freezer doors closed.
- Use a battery-powered computer or radio for news updates.
- If your power remains out after your neighbor has lights, call MGE.
Depending on the outside temperatures, a well-insulated home will remain safely warm for several hours. Stay more comfortable by dressing in layers. Add a hat, extra socks and mittens to keep your extremities warm.
Encourage all family members to stay in the same room and close off unneeded spaces to conserve heat. Limit the number of times you open and close exterior doors.
Care for your family first, but then check on neighbors and friends, especially the elderly and those with health concerns.
Open cupboard doors under sinks so pipes along outside walls won't freeze. If the outage becomes prolonged and you are on a municipal water system, turn the water on in a small stream to prevent pipes from freezing.
Do not use your stove or oven to heat the room. Do not use any unvented or improperly vented heating devices inside your home. They can produce carbon monoxide—a colorless, odorless gas—that can kill you. They should only be used outdoors with plenty of ventilation.
Dangerous levels of carbon monoxide also can be produced from improperly vented furnaces, plugged or cracked chimneys, water heaters, space heaters, fireplaces, stoves and vehicle tail pipes.
If the outage is prolonged and travel is possible, move your family to an area where the power is on and you can stay warm. Be sure to make accommodations for pets.
Be sure to clear ice and snow away from your gas meter and from furnace and water heater vent pipes. Obstructions may prohibit your equipment from starting when the power is restored.
Health and hypothermia
Bundle up! Wear several layers of clothing. Loose clothing is best because it traps more warm air around your body. Keep your clothes dry. If your hands and feet are cold, put on a hat and warm socks. Wear a hat and socks to bed.
During an extended outage, you may be at a higher risk for developing hypothermia. This means your body temperature has been lowered from being exposed to the cold. You may be at special risk if you are 65 or older or if you have a medical condition that requires specific temperature settings. Check with your doctor.
Check on elderly neighbors and relatives to make sure they are staying warm. Hypothermia may cause confusion. This often prevents people from recognizing the danger and seeking help.