Weather storms 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
NYSEG urges customers to avoid downed power lines. Even lines that appear dead can be deadly. NYSEG customers should call 1.800.572.1131 to report downed power lines or other hazardous situations. Refrain from removing tree debris as downed power lines may be entangled in them.
NYSEG 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 NYSEG to turn off your electricity and/or natural gas service.
- If flooding of a home or business has already occurred or is about to occur, customers should contact us to have electricity and natural gas service turned off. Call us at 1.800.572.1131 to report electricity emergencies; for natural gas emergencies,
call 1.800.572.1121. Customers should never attempt to turn off electricity and natural gas service.
- Stay out of flooded basements. Energized wiring or outlets below the water line may pose a hazard; natural gas service in a flooded basement may also pose a danger.
- To have electricity service restored once flood waters have receded, click here to print and sign this form. Customers should contact NYSEG (or their electric utility if it is not NYSEG) to discuss specific circumstances; a safety inspection by a certified electrical inspector may be necessary before service can be restored. Someone must be present for service to be turned on, the basement must be free of water and the electrical panel must be clean and free of debris. Customers and contractors should never attempt to turn on electricity service.
To have natural gas service restored once flood waters have receded: If the natural gas meter and/or regulator were under water, customers must first contact NYSEG (or their natural gas company if it is not NYSEG). If any natural gas equipment (furnace, boiler, water heater, etc.) has been under water, they need to contact a plumbing and heating contractor to have the equipment checked. Customers can then contact their natural gas company to have service restored. Customers and contractors should never attempt to turn on natural gas service.
NYSEG also reminds customers:
- If you smell natural gas, get up, get out and call your natural gas company from another location. Do not light matches, use any electrical appliances, turn lights on or off, or use the phone at the location of the suspected leak - any of these actions could provide a source of ignition for any natural gas that is present.
- Stay away from downed power lines. Even lines that appear “dead” can be deadly.
Anyone who uses life-sustaining equipment that operates on electricity should contact NYSEG at 1.800.572.1111. 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 NYSEG at 1.800.572.1131 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 NYSEG 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. Click here to view our safety tips.
- 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. Perishable foods should be discarded if they reach a temperature of 40 degrees Fahrenheit or higher for longer than two hours. Please visit the U.S. Food and Drug Administration website for more information on how to protect food and water during storms.
- 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 NYSEG 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.
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