During a power outage

It is important to be prepared for a power outage. They can occur during any season. Here’s a few things to consider:

  • Electrical safety. Stay away from downed power lines.  Don’t drive over downed power lines. Call to report the location of any downed power line.
  • Reporting outages. When you call to report a power outage, have your electric meter number available.  This is printed on your monthly bill and is displayed in the SmartHub app.  The meter number helps the utility identify the account quickly and ensure that they have the correct location if you have multiple accounts.
    • If the phone line is busy, hang up and try your call again in 10 or 15 minutes.
      • During widespread outages, when call volume is high, your call may be processed by an automated system. This option helps us handle calls more efficiently.  You still have the option to speak to a live operator, but you may experience a wait on hold.
      • Please do not call again for status updates during a major weather event.  This increases our call volume and may prevent someone else from reporting their outage for the first time.
  • Social media. Dawson PPD cannot dispatch line personnel based on emails or social media posts/messages. You must call us – 308-324-2386 or 800-752-8305. When social media is available, Dawson PPD uses Facebook to provide information and updates. We also contact our local media.
  • Neighborly Nebraskans. Check on your neighbors, especially during extended power outages.

In your home

  • Caution. Be aware of hazards and keep safety in mind.  Flashlights are much safer than using candles.  Never operate a generator or a propane grill in your home or attached garage. Never use a gas stove to heat your home.
  • Your breakers and fuses… Know about the fuses or breaker box at your home. Breakers and fuses are safety devices that shut off the power at your home if there is a problem. Know where your breaker box or fuse box is located. Know how to reset a breaker or replace a fuse.
    • You also need to know if you have an under the meter breaker box outside at the utility pole. Under meter breakers can sometimes fail, causing a power outage on your property.
    • Maintenance of under-meter breakers and the breaker panel or fuse panel are the customers’ responsibility.  If they frequently trip, it may indicate a hazard.
  • Garage doors. Know how to operate your garage door during a power outage.  Refer to your owner’s manual to learn how to open the door when the power is out.
  • Lift chairs. Electric lift chairs may not function properly without power.  Most lift chairs have a battery that will help return the chair to a sitting position.  If the battery is not working properly or the chair doesn’t have a backup battery, the chair will remain in the position it was in when the outage occurs.  Before an outage, make sure the chair is working properly and the person can exit the chair if a power outage occurs.
  • Medical equipment. Home medical equipment may not function during a blackout.  People who rely on oxygen concentrators or other critical equipment need to consult with their physicians and equipment providers. Have a plan before a power outage occurs.
  • Food. Keep food safety in mind. Keep the doors of refrigerators and freezers closed. Stock your pantry with shelf stable foods that do not require refrigeration. For more information about food safety, visit a reputable website such as the Red Cross.
  • Water. You may not have water.  If you have a domestic well for your rural home, it is likely that you will not have access to water during an outage.  Because of this, some rural residents will fill containers of water for drinking and hand washing during the outage. It may be helpful to have bottled drinking water available.
    • If your community well does not have a generator for emergency power, you may have a limited supply of water.
    • Sanitation. If you have no power to your rural, domestic well, the water in your toilet’s tank will be limited. You can refill it by taking the tank lid off and pouring stored fresh water into it.
    • Flood water. Sump pumps cannot run without power. However, some are made with a backup battery. Also remember safety if you have flood water in your home – if outlets are under water, do not enter!
  • Generators. If you plan to use a generator, it is best to have a transfer switch for safe installation and use.  This protects the customer and our linemen, who are working on the lines.  See our policy for details. Rebates are available for new transfer switch installations.
  • Phones.
    • Your cell phone has a limited battery supply – make sure it is charged if outages could occur. Depending on the severity of the outage, you may not have an opportunity to charge it by plugging it in at home.  If you use your vehicle to charge your phone, make sure the vehicle is parked outside so the exhaust fumes do not come into your home.
      • Sometimes during a storm, cell phone usage is high which can cause problems with connecting and dropping calls.
    • If you have a landline, understand that cordless phones usually won’t work.  A phone with a cord may work, depending on model and service provider.

What our customers say

An informed customer is our greatest asset.