Responding and Restoration
Power outages can be caused by many events, such as thunderstorms, windstorms, heavy snowfall, vehicles striking power poles, or even animals getting into energized equipment. The two most important things customers can do to mitigate the effects an outage has on their family is to be prepared for an outage before it occurs, and have a plan for recovery after power has been restored.
Outage Preparation and Safety
Design a “Power Out Kit”. Have several flashlights ready and available, and place one in your nightstand. Be sure to have plenty of spare batteries on hand, and test the flashlights on a regular basis. Consider having a battery-powered radio or TV. Use caution if you decide to use candles and/or storm lamps for emergency lighting.
If you have a generator, you must follow all safety procedures for its use. Do not use it indoors. Do not hook the generator into your electrical panel. Plug the needed appliances into the generator. Be absolutely certain that the generator is isolated from your home’s electrical system. Backfeed from a very small generator can be deadly if it reaches Alpena Power Company’s wires. Linemen have been electrocuted by the backfeed from generators.
When thunderstorms approach, you may want to unplug sensitive electronic equipment such as computers, microwaves, and stereos. This will protect them from damage from the surges caused by lightning strikes. Homeowners with wells may want to fill some containers with drinking water, and also to set aside some water to use for flushing the toilet. During winter outages, have extra blankets or sleeping bags available. If you use an alternative source of heat such as a woodburner or kerosene heater during an outage, be aware of the safety precautions needed for these devices. During a prolonged outage, avoid opening refrigerators and freezers, as this will cause them to warm up faster.
If you have a family member using electrically powered equipment for a medical condition, such as an oxygen generator, be sure to have backup supplies on hand, and a plan for moving to another location until your power is restored.
If your power goes out, check your circuit breakers or fuses. If they are OK, call Alpena Power Company at 989.358.4900. We maintain 24-hour dispatch of Linemen to help you. Do not rely on your neighbor to call. We will ask your name, address, phone number, and the nature of your problem. Please report any additional information you may have such as seeing a wire down, arcing or sparking, or any other pertinent facts.
Please call immediately if you see a downed line. Do not assume that because your power is out that the line is dead. Let Alpena Power determine this. Do not approach the line, as there may be other lines down that you do not see. Keep away!!!
Shutting off the circuit breakers to well pumps, refrigerators and freezers and all but a few lights will lessen the load on the lines and make restoration easier for Alpena Power Company. When the lights come back on you can turn all your breakers back on.
Outage restoration follows a well-prepared plan. Certain critical services are always restored first, such as Hospitals, Fire, Police, Emergency Management Centers, Water Treatment and Wastewater Treatment facilities. Wire-down calls are given the highest priority. Then attention is turned to areas of the greatest customer density, followed by the balance of the system.
At certain times Alpena Power may employ contractors to assist in restoration. All Alpena Power Company vehicles are clearly marked, but the contractors vehicles will not have the familiar Alpena Power Company logo. If you are uncertain of the reason for persons working on your property please ask them or call Alpena Power Company at 989.358.4900.
After a major outage the APC Operations Department analyzes restoration procedures to determine if areas or circuits could have been re-energized more rapidly. By evaluating fuse co-ordination, fuse locations, circuit locations, customer feedback, customer density and manpower availability, APC determines what steps can be taken to minimize future outage time. Every effort is made to ensure effective measures are implemented before the next outage. Alpena Power Company has the highest reliability in Northeast Michigan.