Weather storms more easily by preparing ahead of time. Once the power is out, you may not be able to view our safety tips, so download a copy of our reference, Weathering Storm Emergencies (PDF), print it out, and have it handy when storms are on the horizon. In the meantime, review the safety tips below.
Downed Power Lines
RG&E urges customers to avoid downed power lines. Even lines that appear dead can be deadly. RG&E customers should call 1.800.743.1701 to report downed power lines or other hazardous situations. Refrain from removing tree debris as downed power lines may be entangled in them.
RG&E also reminds customers to stay out of flooded basements because energized wiring or outlets below the water line may pose a hazard. Natural gas service in a flooded basement may also pose a danger. If your basement or home is in danger of flooding, contact RG&E to turn off your electricity and/or natural gas service.
Anyone who uses life-sustaining equipment that operates on electricity should contact RG&E at 1.800.743.2110. We may enroll you in one of our critical customer programs or provide you with specific advice on how to prepare for power interruptions.
- Keep flashlights, a battery-powered radio and fresh batteries handy.
- Have at least one telephone that is not dependent on electricity. (Cordless phones won’t work during a power interruption.)
- Keep a supply of non-perishable food and bottled water on hand.
- If you have a cell phone, make sure the battery is fully charged.
- Contact neighbors to see if their power is off. You may have simply blown a fuse or tripped a circuit breaker.
- Contact RG&E at 1.800.743.1701 to report a power interruption, and please have your account number handy. Our telephone systems let you report the problem, helps our crews respond quickly and efficiently, and provides you with power interruption updates. You can call as often as you like for updates. Because many people may be trying to reach us during a power interruption, phone lines may be busy. Please be patient.
- If your basement or home is in danger of flooding, contact RG&E to turn off your electricity and/or natural gas service. Never enter a flooded basement or home until electricity and natural gas service have been turned off.
- Listen to a battery-powered radio for weather and power restoration updates.
- Turn off major appliances (electric water heaters, refrigerators and freezers) and sensitive electronic equipment (TVs, VCRs, DVD players, computers, stereos) to prevent overloading and possible damage when power is restored. Turning off this equipment may mean that you have to unplug it, turn off the circuit breaker or remove the fuse for the circuit in your home that provides power to this equipment. Leave one light switch “on” so you’ll know when power has been restored.
- Emergency generators can be dangerous. If you use one, carefully follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Operate your generator outdoors in a clean, dry, well-ventilated area and never indoors or in a garage.
- Don’t use a natural gas or propane range to heat your home.
- Make sure your electric stove tops and/or ovens are off. When the power is restored, the burners may begin heating up and could be a hazard.
- Never use a grill or stove intended for use outdoors in your home.
- Keep your refrigerator and freezer closed as much as possible. Most food will last
24 hours if you minimize the opening of refrigerator and freezer doors.
- State law requires that if the traffic lights or controls are out of service or malfunctioning when you approach an intersection, you must come to a stop as you would for a stop sign. You must then proceed according to the rules of right of way, unless you are directed to proceed by a traffic officer.
After Your Power Is Restored
- If your basement or home was flooded, have an electrician check your home and have a plumbing and heating contractor check natural gas appliances before contacting RG&E to have services turned on.
- Turn on appliances and sensitive electronic equipment one at a time to avoid overloading your circuits.
- Replenish emergency supplies used during the storm.
weather conditions and state warnings
how we restore service:
NYSEG’s and RG&E’s first priority is responding to known incidents of downed power lines to make the situations safe. (NYSEG customers should call 1.800.572.1131 to report downed wires; RG&E customers should call 1.800.743.1701.) Once this vital public safety work is complete, the companies will:
• Assess the damage to the electricity delivery system.
• Develop a detailed restoration plan.
• Make repairs as quickly as possible.
how we restore power following major storms:
We first repair the backbone of the electricity system – transmission lines and substations – that bring electricity to the local distribution system that serves our customers. We then make any necessary repairs to the distribution system that includes the poles and power lines along streets and roads. As part of this process, we take into account the needs of hospitals, nursing homes, fire and police stations, as well as any other critical infrastructure. We also focus on our customers who depend on electrically-operated life support equipment. This is a time-proven process that ensures we safely restore service as quickly and efficiently as possible.