Survive a Winter Storm
Even in the South we experience an occasional winter storm. Ice storms — prolonged periods of freezing rain — are our most severe winter weather threat. Trees, power lines, roads and walkways can become covered with ice and power interruptions are possible.
You can make winter storms more bearable by being prepared. Stay advised of the storm’s progress by monitoring a NOAA weather radio. Use the Gulf Power outage map to locate outages in our service territory. When severe winter weather is predicted, make sure you and your family are ready for it.
- Check your supplies of non-perishable foods, heating fuel and medications. Stock up if you need to.
- Fill your tub and spare containers with water in case your electric water pump or the local water system goes out.
- Make sure you have a flashlight, battery-powered radio and fresh batteries handy.
- Check to ensure that elderly family members or friends who live alone are prepared for the weather.
Winter storm survival tips
Should you lose electric service, keep the following tips in mind:
- Freezing rain and sleet can build up on tree limbs, which then break and fall onto power lines. If you come across a downed power line, assume that it is live and call 911, as well as Gulf Power, at 1-800-487-6937.
- If there is an outage, customers can help Gulf Power restore power by turning off their heating systems until power is restored. Once power is back on, customers should wait a few minutes before turning their heating system on. If customers can wait 10-15 minutes after their power is restored before turning their heat back on, that helps manage the load and bring all customers back on as quickly as possible.
- Customer service representatives will be working 24/7 to handle any questions customers might have. Customers can call 1-800-225-5797.
- Use non-electric, unvented space heaters only in well-ventilated areas.
- Use a camp stove, fireplace or can of Sterno for cooking. Don’t use charcoal or any other fuels in unventilated areas.
- If you use an electric generator, plug electric appliances directly into it. Do not plug the generator into your home’s electrical wiring.
- Disconnect or turn off appliances that were on when the power interruption occurred. Leave a light on so you know when service is restored.
- Avoid opening your refrigerator or freezer. Food will stay frozen in a fully loaded freezer for 36 to 48 hours if the doors remain closed. If the freezer is half full, the food will generally keep 24 hours.