OPALCO continues to improve the reliability of the system. Still, there are circumstances beyond our control such as weather, car accidents, equipment failure and bird or animal events that can cause outages.
When scheduled outages are necessary, OPALCO calls members in the area to be affected in advance.
During unplanned outages, OPALCO updates its phone message and online outage portal as best we can.
Preparing for Outages
To adequately prepare for outages a little bit of planning ahead can go a long way.
Make sure you install surge protection for your electronic, computer and other sensitive equipment. Know where to find your utility shut off (electricity, water, propane) and how to turn them off. If you have an electric garage door opener, make sure you know how to open it without electricity.
It’s a good idea to have an outage/emergency preparedness box. See the checklist below.
If you suspect an outage is coming, make sure you have your phone charged up and fill up the gas tank in your car.
AFTER an outage has occurred, it’s a good practice to turn off sensitive electronics and equipment to protect them when the power comes back on. It also helps OPALCO manage the capacity of our system – it can be difficult to bring everything people have on in their homes up all at once. This can include well pumps. If you can turn your pump off at the breaker, that helps. Once power is restored, turn things on slowly – one at a time.
Because the most detailed information, photos and updates on outages are posted on Facebook, Twitter and on OPALCO’s website, we encourage people who don’t have a smart phone to find an “outage buddy” who does, so they can share information and check up on each other.
Winter Storm Checklist
Make sure you have adequate supplies in case of outages!
Call 360-376-3599 or Login into your SmartHub account where you can report outages and sign up for outage notifications.
During business hours, there will be hourly reports on major outages. After hours, updating varies depending on size and duration of the outage. The OPALCO outage map automatically updates every 10 minutes 24/7.
An outage buddy is a neighbor or someone off island who has access to a smartphone or internet even when the power is out and can access the OPALCO outage map. Your buddy can share the latest updates with you and make sure you have what you need during the outage. It is important to check on each other during storms and major power outages so find a buddy you can check on and who will check on you.