Summer Storm Preparation, Safety

Summer is here, along with the intense desert heat and thunderstorms in UniSource Energy Services’ electric service territories.

But not to worry — UES is prepared and ready. UES employees will respond quickly and efficiently to power outages with guidance from UES’ emergency response plans. UES also plans months in advance to ensure it has more than enough energy to satisfy customers’ energy needs, even on the hottest of summer days.

The UES system control center relies on reports from customers to identify outages, assess the damage and restore power as quickly as possible. Along with outages, customers should
report damage to power poles and other equipment as soon as possible to Customer Care at 1-877-837-4968.

Anyone who sees downed power lines should stay away and call 911 immediately.

When arriving on the scene of an outage, the first priority for UES workers is making the area safe and secure. If the storm damage is widespread, repair crews prioritize their work
by addressing public safety issues first.

All along, UES will keep you informed. Using social media such as Facebook and Twitter, UES can disseminate electric outage information quicker than ever before, keeping customers up-to-date about major restoration efforts.

Customers should plan ahead and be prepared for summer storm season.

The best way to avoid lightning, flash floods and other dangerous conditions is to not be in danger in the first place. Stay up to date on current weather forecasts — especially
notifications issued for severe weather — through TV or radio news, the Internet or a NOAA weather radio. During storm season, scan the skies overhead before leaving a safe location.

If a power line comes into contact with your vehicle, stay inside the vehicle until help arrives — do not attempt to get out. By stepping out of the vehicle, your body can become the
pathway for electricity to reach the ground, causing severe bodily harm or electrocution. Use a cell phone, if available, to notify emergency services of your exact location.

At home, also use a cell phone. Never use a landline phone if you see lightning or hear thunder in your area, as phone lines can be a conduit for nearby lightning strikes.

Turn off — but don’t unplug — electronic appliances that were on when the service interruption began. Leave one light on to indicate when power is restored. Never touch wiring during a thunderstorm.

Don’t play video games connected to your TV. Lightning can travel through wires from game consoles to handset controllers.

Keep refrigerator and freezer doors closed. The refrigerator will keep food safely cold for about four hours if it is unopened. As a general rule, perishable foods with temperatures
above 40 degrees for more than two hours should be thrown away.

Prepare in advance by gathering basic supplies such as food, water and sturdy clothing into a disaster supply kit. The rule of thumb is to keep enough supplies in your home to meet
your needs for at least three days.

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