RAPID CITY, SD — Nov 29, 2019 — Black Hills Energy reminds customers to stay safe during hazardous winter storm conditions and offers tips to prepare customers if there are weather-related service interruptions. With the forecast for severe storm which may begin today, Nov 29, Black Hills Energy employees are prepared for any weather-related service issues and necessary restoration efforts.
The National Weather Service forecasted snow, severe winds and blizzard conditions in northeastern Wyoming and western South Dakota from Friday, Nov 29 through Sunday morning, Dec 1.
Although a key component of the company’s preparedness includes constant monitoring of weather forecasts, much of the company’s ability to respond quickly is the result of actions Black Hills Energy takes before extreme storm conditions hit, including:
- Developing staffing plans to provide 24-hour outage response and our BHE reliability center that dispatches Black Hills Energy crews.
- Coordinating efforts with city, county, state emergency officials and first responders.
- Providing ongoing service restoration updates to customers through various communication mediums.
“Being ready for safe, reliable service is our priority. We regularly inspect and maintain our system to ensure reliability and safety,” said Marc Eyre, director of electric operations for South Dakota and Northeast Wyoming region. “Our expert crews are scheduled 24/7 during storm conditions for any electric emergency that requires immediate attention.”
During any extended outage situations caused by severe weather, we work with local news agencies to keep you informed about service restoration. If an electrical service interruption occurs, we will make every effort to restore your power as quickly as possible. We realize that these situations are an inconvenience, and we appreciate your patience as we work to restore service.
In the event that an unexpected outage occurs, please follow these guidelines for staying safe:
1. Prepare for an outage by setting up an emergency drawer or kit that’s easy to access, even in the dark. Stock it with fresh batteries, a battery-powered radio and a flashlight. Avoid using candles, lanterns or oil lamps because of the fire risk. Be sure everyone in the family knows where the emergency drawer or kit is located.
2. If any member of your family is on life support, plan for arrangements today to get them to a location where their needs can be met if electric service is interrupted. In addition, please contact us at 888-890-5554 to make sure we’ve noted that a life-support system exists at your home.
3. If you are outdoors, never touch or attempt to pick up a fallen power line, and keep children and pets away. Assume any downed power line is energized.
4. Do not attempt to rescue someone in contact with a power line. If you see a downed power line, call our emergency number 800-694-8989 or 911 immediately.
5. Unplug sensitive computer and electronic equipment or protect them with a high-quality surge protector.
6. If your power goes out, see if your neighbors have power. If they do, check your home for blown fuses or a tripped circuit breaker.
7. If your neighbors don’t have power or if you can’t locate the problem, contact us immediately by calling our emergency number at 800-694-8989.
8. Leave a lamp, electric radio or your portable mobile computer/phone device on so you know when service is restored.
9. Also turn on a porch light. This will help speed our power restoration process, as we will be able to quickly confirm that your power is back on without knocking on your door or checking the meter.
10. For long power outages do not open your refrigerator or freezer more than necessary. Undisturbed food will remain frozen in most freezers for 12 to 48 hours.
11. Do not use charcoal grills to heat your home or cook indoors. Dangerous carbon monoxide fumes can build up and cause injury or death.
12. If you use a portable generator, follow the manufacturer’s safety and operating guidelines. Be sure to operate the generator in a well-ventilated area. Never operate it indoors or in your garage. Again, dangerous carbon monoxide fumes can build up and cause injury or death.
13. Because carbon monoxide is odorless, colorless and tasteless, have a carbon monoxide detector with fresh batteries installed to warn you of potentially dangerous levels of carbon monoxide.
During an outage, stay connected with Black Hills Energy on outage information by logging on to www.blackhillsenergy.com or follow Black Hills Energy on Facebook.