Cooperative Outage Center
Our mission is to deliver affordable and reliable service to all our members. However, despite our best efforts, you may eventually experience a power outage.
When an outage does occur, we often have hundreds or even thousands of members calling in to report outages. To better serve you, we maintain an interactive voice response system that can handle thousands of calls simultaneously, giving us accurate information to better pinpoint your outage. That information, combined with our Outage Management System (OMS) and Advanced Meter Infrastructure (AMI), enables our system operators to dispatch our line crews as quickly and safely as possible to begin power restoration.
- First, check your breakers just to make sure they have not been tripped.
- Call WWVREMC at 1-800-776-0493.
- Press “1” for our outage system. Having your account number handy will speed up the process.
- If your phone number is recognized by our system, the system will automatically record your service location and report the outage. If your phone number is not recognized, you will be given additional voice prompts, or you may be directed to the next available member support representative.
- You can also log in with your SmartHub account and report the outage. You will need your WWVREMC account number.
- PLEASE NOTE: Emailing the cooperative or posting on Facebook does not report your outage.
What to do if you lose power
Safety tips for power outages
- Make sure you have at least one good flashlight with fresh batteries. Better yet, make sure there’s a flashlight on every floor of your house and one for each family member. If you don’t have sufficient flashlights or batteries, add them to today’s shopping list.
- Make sure the batteries are fresh. Buy new ones every few months and reserve them for this use only so they don’t end up in toys or tools when you need them.
- Have a battery-operated radio ready.
- If you don’t already own one, purchase a battery-operated radio, and the appropriate batteries. Find a special place for the radio and flashlight so they will be easy to find in an outage. (Consider keeping them near the family first aid kit.)
- If the outage is a lengthy one or is associated with another emergency (extreme cold, dangerous storm, etc.), radio reports will be issued regularly.
- Keep emergency numbers posted near the telephone. Add the co-op’s number to your list. 765-458-5171 (office), 800-776-0493 (outages).
- In a widespread outage, rely on radio broadcasts to learn more about the power outage. Before you call your co-op to report the outage, make sure you haven’t blown a fuse or tripped a circuit breaker. Also look outside to see if your neighbors’ lights are off. Be prepared to tell the co-op if you heard any unusual sounds or can see any downed wires in the neighborhood. Remember, telephones with answering machines rely on electricity to operate.
- Use a phone connected directly to the phone jack.
- Consider any downed power lines as deadly and dangerous. Don’t go near them. And don’t let anyone else near them. Report them at once to your co-op.
- Keep the refrigerator door closed.
- Food will keep for several hours in a closed refrigerator and up to two days in the freezer, again provided the door is shut. Rely on prepared foods from your shelf first. If you must prepare a meal with food from the refrigerator, get what you need quickly and close the door. Remember, you’ll probably need your flashlight to see what you need.
- If the outage is not associated with an extreme emergency or storm, relax.
- None of us are accustomed to life without electricity, but an evening without television may give you a rare opportunity to engage in some good old-fashioned storytelling (or catch up on your sleep).
Tips for saving freezer food
- Do not open the freezer until the power returns.
- Each time you open and close the freezer, cold air escapes, thus raising the temperature inside.
- A full freezer, if not opened, can keep foods safe for two days; a half-filled freezer will keep its contents safe for one day if not opened.
- The larger the freezer, the longer the food will stay frozen.
- Cover the freezer until power returns.
- Blankets or quilts placed over the freezer can conserve the cold. Make sure air-vent openings are not blocked; the power may return without warning.
- Do not eat frozen foods that show sheets of ice on the surface. This means that the food had thawed and then has re-frozen.
- Foods with a high water content stay frozen longer; meats and fruits do not thaw as quickly as bread and other baked goods.
- Do not re-freeze frozen foods that have thawed and are not refrigerator cold.
- Remember: When in doubt, throw it out. Discard perishable foods that are not refrigerator cold.
- Harmful bacteria may have multiplied during the thawing process.
- Quality of the food often suffers when food is re-frozen.
- Handle fruits and vegetables as you do meat and poultry.
- Many harmful bacteria can grow on fruits and vegetables as well as on animal products.
- Handle dry ice with caution.
- Dry ice can help keep frozen foods cold during times of extended power loss. But take care. The extremely low temperature of dry ice can burn your skin; follow manufacturer’s instructions closely and wear gloves when handling.
- Dry ice should be placed on a piece of cardboard that sits on top of food in a freezer.
During widespread weather events resulting in significant damage to our system, WWREMC follows its Emergency Response and Recovery Plan which gives priority to:
- restoring power to emergency and public service facilities,
- responding to any unsafe situations,
- the largest number of customers in the shortest period.
WWVREMC has 17 substations in its six-county service area. When a major outage occurs, these are checked first to be sure the power supply from the transmission system is not the problem. If the problem is a substation, work begins there to restore power to the largest number of people.
Main distribution lines (we have over 1,800 miles of them) carry electricity away from the substations and are checked after the substations. When problems are fixed at this level, all members served by a particular distribution line could see the lights come on, as long as there is not another problem farther down the line or on a tap line.
The final supply line to a member’s home or business is called a tap line. Tap lines carry power to the transformers on utility poles or underground transformers outside your home or business. These lines are among the last to be fixed as they typically impact fewer members and can only be identified as the source of an outage once all other lines are fixed. Sometimes, when your neighbors have power and you don’t, the problem is between your home or business and the service line from the transformer on the nearby utility pole. That is why it is important for all outages to be reported.