Power Outage FAQs
My power is out, now what?
Check to see if lights are out in neighboring homes. If yes, then do one of the following:
- Go to smud.org/outages and select Report an outage. You’ll be asked for the street number, and either the primary phone number, meter number or account number.
- Log in to My Account, select Report an outage and enter your contact phone number.
- Call 1-888-456-7683 and provide information in our outage line.
While waiting for power to be restored, switch off all electrical appliances and lights – except for one light that our crews can see from the street. That will tell us when things are back to normal, and help prevent a power surge when the neighborhood is back on-line. Remember, it is your responsibility to protect your electronic equipment against power fluctuations.
When will my power be restored?
We can't say for sure – every situation is different. But you can get an estimate by going to smud.org/outages and finding your location on our outage map. The map is updated frequently, and gives an approximate restoration time for each separate outage, if one is available.
Keep in mind that even in your own neighborhood, some homes may come back on-line before others. Homes on the same block may receive power from different sources, which may result in your neighbors being reconnected before you. Power is often restored in small group of homes at a time, rather than all homes at once.
If there's no power at all in your home, the problem could be at the service panel (breaker box) attached to the outside of your home. Resetting the breakers may be all you need to do. (Caution: If you're not comfortable working with breakers and switches, play it safe. Call an electrician to help you - service fees may apply.)
Steps to reset your breakers:
- Make sure your hands are dry and you are not standing in water.
- Check to see if the main circuit breaker has switched to the "off" or "trip" position. If it has, then move it fully to the "off" position, and then over to the "on" position.
- If that does not restore power, call our toll-free outage line at 1-888-456-7683 to report an outage.
How do I prepare for an outage?
- Visit the Storm Safety page for storm preparation and safety tips.
- Before another outage, get familiar with your service panel location and how to operate the main circuit breaker.
- Put together a basic emergency kit consisting of:
- Bottled water
- Extra batteries
- Wind-up clock
- Manual can opener
- Battery-operated radio or TV
Do you fix outages in the order they're reported?
On a normal day, our crews stand ready to respond quickly to outages as they occur. But in the event of a major storm or other unusual events, our crews are directed where the need is most urgent.
Our highest priorities are situations where public safety is at risk, like downed power lines and poles. Next would be service to hospitals and to large pumps critical to controlling a major flood. Other priorities, in order, would be outages affecting a large number of customers, followed by smaller, scattered outages.
What causes outages?
There are two kinds of outages: those for repairs, and those for upgrades and maintenance. Those for repairs are often unforeseen, resulting from car accidents, falling trees, storms, or even animals interfering with equipment. Those for upgrades and maintenance help us maintain service reliability, and are often, but not always, announced to you in advance.
My power is flashing on and off repeatedly. What should I do?
Call 1-888-456-7683 and provide information in our Outage Line.
Will your crews be coming to my neighborhood?
It depends. Our crews are sent to the source of the problem, which may or may not be in your immediate neighborhood. So while you may not see our crews, you can be sure that they are working efficiently to solve the problem at its source.
What are you doing to prevent outages?
We work year-round to keep power lines clear of tree branches and vegetation across our 900 square mile service area. In addition, we are constantly upgrading lines, equipment and facilities to ensure the power's there when you need it. Safely delivering reliable service is our number one commitment to you.
Read more about our vegetation management program.