(308) 324-2386

Power Outages

HOW ARE “PLANNED OUTAGES” PLANNED?

Ever wonder why Dawson PPD has planned outages and why they choose the dates and times? We thought we’d share some of the factors that are considered before the decision is made.

Can we safely work with the line energized?
Sometimes linemen are able to make repairs to a line without turning off the power. Linemen are trained to do “hot work” and equipped the proper personal protective equipment. However, there are times that working a line with power running through it can pose too much risk to the workers. In other circumstances there is just no way to get the work done without having an outage.
How do you choose the date and time of the outage?
Most of our planned outages will be during the week and during regular daytime working hours. If we need to work in a town we choose the date and time in an effort to disrupt as few people as possible – this may mean planning an outage on a weekend. For example, we prefer a date when school is not in session and at least some of the businesses are closed. During harvest, we try not to disrupt the hours the elevator will accept grain from farmers.

Another factor that is considered when choosing an outage time is the amount of daylight available. While the summer is suitable to some early morning outages, as the days grow shorter some of the work must wait until later in the morning when there is adequate light.

The time of year is also considered. During irrigation, Dawson PPD’s electrical system is running at full capacity so we try to avoid scheduling large-scale outages. We also try to avoid the coldest times of the winter. With that said, there are times when repairs are necessary and delaying them may cause bigger problems. Each situation is considered carefully before the decision is made.

How long will the outage really last?
The amount of time we plan for the outage depends on what work must be done. We try to ensure that we give ourselves enough time to complete the job and often we are finished early. However, there are times when the scheduled work does not go according to plan and the outage may last longer.
Once you choose the date and time, do you ever change your mind?
Yes, but we try to stick to the original plan to avoid confusion. Some of our work may require that there is no precipitation. If the work planned depends on the weather, we try to let customers know it.
How do you notify people?
Dawson PPD uses an automated calling system to contact customers who will be affected by the outage. The system works well for most customers and is cost effective. However, we need to have updated contact information in our computer system. If you change your phone number or disconnect your land line, please let us know your new number. You can call us at 308-324-2386. Many of our planned outages are announced on FaceBook as well. If an outage will affect a whole community, flyers are distributed and a press release is sent to the local media.
Why didn’t I get a phone call?

If you receive an automated phone call, there may be a one to two second delay before the message starts to play. Please do not hang up the phone! Our messages start by identifying Dawson Public Power District as the caller. The automatic message system is designed to work with most voice mail and answering machine systems.

Another concern is making sure Dawson PPD has up to date contact information for our customers. If you have changed your phone number, please let us know. You can do this by using the “contact” button on our web menu bar or by calling 308-324-2386 at any time.

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.

Power outage Preparation

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.

Location

75191 Rd. 433
PO Box 777
Lexington, NE 68850

Call

(308) 324-2386
(800) 752-8305

Hours

Monday – Friday
7:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Account Login

Online BIll Pay

Application for Service

Irrigation