CTEC is dedicated to providing the most reliable power supply possible.  If, however, your electric power goes off, first please check your fuses or circuit breakers to determine that the trouble is not in your own system.  If the outage is the responsibility of the CTEC, there will, of course, be no charge. If the co-op responds to a call and it is determined that the outage is on the member's side of the meter, such as a blown fuse or tripped breaker, etc., you will be billed for a trip fee. 

Click here to see any planned outage information

 

The best way to report an outage 24/7 is by using SmartHub

or by calling 1-800-900-2832. 

Please do not use Facebook to report outages.

 

 

SmartHub

You can sign up or log in to SmartHub at the top of the page. The CTEC SmartHub app allows members to report an outage.  It is the fastest and easiest way to get outage information to our employees.  To download click the link below!

 

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Prepare an outage kit to have on hand before any outages occur. A fully stocked outage kit will be crucial if extended outages occur.  Here are some ideas of what a kit can include:

  • Battery-powered radio
  • Flashlights & fresh batteries
  • Emergency supplies of water
  • Non-perishable, easily-prepared foods
  • Drinking water
  • Manual, non-electric can & bottle openers
  • Candles, matches/lighters
  • Portable heater (gas or oil)
  • Camping equipment
  • Charger for cell phone or laptop
  • Cooler
  • Blankets & pillows
  • Cash
  • Medications & personal hygiene products
  • Non-cordless phone
  • First-aid kit
  • Pet supplies
  • Fire extinguisher & smoke alarm
  • Family & emergency contact list
  • Hand sanitizer, baby wipes, and toilet paper.
  • Books, deck of cards or games

Other ways to be prepared:

  • Sign up for our SmartHub app, it is the best way to report outages and stay informed about the restoration process.
  • Have an exit plan, if you are unprepared for extended outages you need to have a place to go where you can be safe.
  • If you have a telephone system that requires electricity to work, such as a cordless phone, plan to have a standard telephone or cellular phone ready as a backup.  It is also a good practice to keep a charging bank in full power to charge cell phones or other devices if needed.
  • If you have a fireplace or woodstove, keep kindling and dry firewood on hand.
  • When there is impending dangerous weather, fill your bathtub with water if your supply depends on electricity.
  • Fill up your vehicles with gas in the event that you need to evacuate or relocate to another area; and if you use a portable generator, fill up fuel cans.
  • Fill plastic containers with water and place them in the freezer, you can use them to help keep food cold during a power outage as it thaws out to drink. 
  • Fill bathtubs or large containers or tubs with water before bad weather for extra water.
  • Winterize vehicles, not just automobiles. 
  • To help prevent burst pipes, close any shut-off valves that lead to outside faucets and drain excess water from the lines.  Also, drain lines in unheated areas of your home like the attic. 

Pets and Livestock

  • Keep extra pet food on hand or in your emergency outage kit.
  • Keep plenty of freshwater for your pets.
  • For smaller livestock water troughs, you can place floating objects in water to keep them from completely icing over and make removing built-up ice easier. 
  • Filling jugs with saltwater and enough air to float can make an automatic waterer function since the water around the jug will not freeze. 
  • For livestock tanks, have equipment and/or tools available to drill or bust holes to allow for watering.
  • Before calling the co-op during a power outage, check your home's panel box. A blown fuse or tripped circuit breaker could be at fault.
  • If you've determined that the source of the interruption is outside your home, report your outage at once. Outages can be reported:
    • By using our SmartHub app or by phone at 1-800-900-2832

During an Extended Outage

  • We will provide updates whenever possible on our website and Facebook. Do not use Facebook to report outages. 
  • Turn off large electric appliances and equipment so that lines are not overloaded when power is restored.
  • Use caution and be sure to have adequate ventilation when operating generators, lanterns, heaters, and fuel-fired cookstoves.
  • If you use a generator, have it installed by a certified electrician. Improperly installed generators may feed energy back into the distribution lines, endangering our linemen and others. 
  • Watch weather reports closely.  If the weather is expected to worsen or outages are prolonged, consider staying with friends, family, or in a local shelter.
  • If you are safely able, check on elderly relatives, neighbors, and friends to make sure they’re safe, especially if they live alone.

Keeping Cool:

  • If it's a hot time of year, dress in loose, lightweight clothing and stay on the coolest, lowest level of your home.
  • Use natural ventilation to cool homes, and consider purchasing battery-powered fans.
  • Drink plenty of water and avoid heavy meals, caffeinated drinks, and alcohol.
  • Close all drapes and blinds on the sunny side of your residence.
  • Take your family and pets to a basement or other cool location if you have one. Also, consider going to an air-conditioned public place during warmer daytime hours.

Keeping Warm:

  • Stay inside, and dress warmly. Staying warm is a priority. Dress in several layers of loose-fitting, lightweight warm clothing. Wear hats, mittens, and scarves.
  • Close off unneeded rooms to keep the heat in your living areas.
  • Place a draft block at the bottom of doors to minimize cold drafts from entering the house.
  • When using an alternative heat source, follow operating instructions, use fire safeguards, and be sure to properly ventilate. Always keep a multipurpose, dry-chemical fire extinguisher nearby, and know how to use it.
  • Keep a close eye on the temperature in your home. Infants and people over the age of 65 are often more susceptible to the cold. You may want to stay with friends or relatives or go to a shelter if you cannot keep your home warm.
  • Keep your faucets on a slow drip to keep pipes from freezing. Catch the dripping water in a clean container, sink, or tub. If your pipes freeze, turn off the main water supply to prevent further damage.
  • Don’t use your stove or oven for heat. Gas stoves and ovens produce carbon monoxide, and electric ones pose a fire risk when not used as designed.

Maintaining Food:

  • Keep refrigerator or freezer doors closed. A freezer that is half full or full can keep foods frozen 24 to 48 hours. Foods can stay safe in an unopened refrigerator for up to four hours. If an outage lasts longer than four hours, remove and pack meat, milk and other dairy products in a cooler with ice.
  • Maintain food supplies that do not require refrigeration.
  • Use safe alternative food preparations. A barbecue grill is an excellent way to prepare food. Always grill outside.

Stay Away From Downed Power Lines

When outside, stay away from downed power lines and be alert to the possibility that tree limbs or debris may hide an electrical hazard. Treat all downed or hanging power lines as if they are energized. Lines do not have to be arcing or sparking to be live. Warn others to stay away and call 911 or contact us.

When in Doubt, Throw it Out

Throw out perishable food in your refrigerator that is above 40 degrees.  If food has an unusual color or smell, discard it.

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Winter Preparation Tips

As temperatures start to fall, we’re all reminded that winter weather is right around the corner. While we hope we never repeat the extreme cold and ice event of February, Central Texas Electric Cooperative strongly encourages our members to begin preparing for dangerous winter weather. Many weather sources have predicted another unusually cold winter, and being prepared and informed is the best way to stay safe.  While CTEC can offer basic tips and advice, our members may have different needs based on their individual situations.  Make a plan that will work for you and your family. By starting early, you can avoid the rush as well as the supply shortages that often occur just prior to the onset of a weather event.

 

Get the Basics

We encourage you to think back to the freezing weeks of February and make a list of what you needed most, whether you had power or not. While we understand that lack of electricity is an incredible obstacle in the face of winter weather, having power doesn’t help if you need food, water or medication and are unable to drive on icy or closed roads. Stock up on those supplies before dangerous weather arrives. 

 

Have an Exit Plan

While it’s a good idea for everyone to have a list of safe places to go and a way to get there in the event of an extended winter outage, this planning is especially important for those with disabilities or who rely on life-support devices requiring electricity, such as respirators or ventilators. While CTEC encourages members with medical needs to make sure the co-op is aware of their situation, there is no guarantee that members with medical needs will have their power restored immediately, especially during emergency outage events. Those who rely on medical equipment need to be extra prepared.

Their emergency preparedness kit should include additional oxygen tanks, equipment batteries or other backup equipment, and if possible, a backup generator as an alternate power source.

 

Ensure a Heat Source

As outdoor temperatures plummet, it doesn’t take long for the temperature inside your home to do the same if you lose power.  While a fireplace can help cut the chill, a wood stove is an excellent way to heat your home in a power emergency. Make sure you have wood that’s ready to burn and stored in a dry, covered area if you plan to rely on either of these options. It’s also a good idea to have chimneys inspected and cleaned periodically so they’re safe to use.  An alcohol or propane heater that is rated for indoor use can help in a heating emergency. Make sure you are well stocked with fuel if using those types of heaters. Some kerosene heaters are available for indoor use but need to be cross-ventilated and aren’t as safe. Whatever backup heat source you go with, consider creating smaller, more easy to heat areas by closing off unused rooms or areas of the house. Make sure you have plenty of warm layers to wear and keep extra blankets and sleeping bags handy.

 

Ensure a Water Source

Ensuring a supply of clean drinking water for yourself and any pets or livestock is extremely important. By filling plastic containers with water and placing them in the freezer, you can use them to help keep food cold during a power outage as it thaws

out to drink. You can also fill bathtubs or larger containers or tubs before bad weather to have on hand for nondrinking purposes.  For livestock water troughs, consider placing floating objects in the water to keep the troughs from completely icing over and to make removing built-up ice easier. Jugs filled with salt water and enough air to float can function like an automatic waterer since the water around the jug will not freeze. For livestock tanks, keep equipment and tools available to drill holes to allow for watering.

 

Winterize

Again, thinking back to the icy cold weeks of last February, what damage from freezing temperatures could have been prevented?  What tasks would have been easy to get done on those fair-weather days that would have made a difference when the temperature dropped?  Make sure all vehicles, not just automobiles, are winterized

before the cold weather hits. To help prevent burst pipes, close any shut-off valves that lead to outside faucets and drain any excess water from the lines. Also drain lines in unheated areas of your home, such as the attic. Update the weatherstripping in your home if needed and seal any cracks around windows and doors to prevent more cold air from coming inside. Also, make sure your gas tank is full before a storm hits.

 

Get a Generator, if You Can

If possible, have a backup generator in case power does fail.  This isn’t a purchase that can fit into every budget, but it can be extremely helpful in the rare event of extended outages.  If you do use a generator, be sure to operate it safely and notify CTEC that you are using one. Members with standby electric generators should make sure they are properly installed by a licensed electrician in a well-ventilated area.  Never run a generator indoors; doing so can lead to a dangerous and deadly buildup of carbon monoxide. Improperly installed generators pose a significant danger to members as well as crews working on power lines.