Be prepared for storms
Strong winds and rain can damage power lines and equipment, causing outages. It's best to be prepared should your power go out during a storm.
Preparing an emergency kit
An emergency kit is a great way to be ready for any unexpected event. By putting safety essentials together in one place, you’ll always be prepared.
In case of emergency: call 911
for sparking or downed lines and outages (only after calling 911 first)
for trees in power lines
for pipeline damage (particularly when digging)
for kites in lines or other safety concerns
Before a storm
In addition to these tips, become familiar with your service panel location and how to operate the main circuit breaker.
- Portable cell phone charger
- Fresh drinking water
- Extra batteries
- Manual can opener
- Battery-operated radio
Our crews perform maintenance activities such as tree trimming and equipment replacement year-round to help prevent outages.
We have also increased our efforts to replace old underground cable, which will significantly lower the number of cable-related outages.
During a storm
We post outage updates, news, photos and more on our Twitter account, @SMUDupdates.
When will my power be restored?
It can be hard for us to provide estimated restoration times on our outage map. Here’s why. When we have large numbers of outages at once, we have to get to each site and assess the damage before we can give an accurate time. Some fixes are quick, and others, like replacing multiple damaged poles, are a full-day job. Some outages might impact several hundred customers and others 1 household. While we sincerely wish we could tell everyone exactly when their power will come back on, the volume of damage could be significant enough that it makes it difficult to pinpoint the restoration time for everyone.
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.
Do you fix outages in the order they're reported?
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 would be outages affecting a large number of customers, followed by smaller scattered outages.
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.
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 SMUD remove the tree debris from the tree cutting or pruning it does to restore power after storm damage?
To deliver safe and reliable electricity, our Vegetation Management team regularly inspects and prunes more than 200,000 trees in our 900-square-mile service area.
When wind or storms damage trees and create safety hazards on or around SMUD’s powerlines or electrical equipment or cause power outages, SMUD will prune or cut the trees to remove the public safety hazard and restore power. It’s the property owner’s responsibility to remove and dispose of the tree debris on their property. SMUD encourages customers to call a licensed tree removal or clean up service to perform this work.
The photos below were taken during a fierce storm that hit the Sacramento area on Jan. 27-28, 2021. Our crews worked around the clock to restore power to our customers.
Reset your main breaker
If there's no power at all in your home, the problem could be at the electrical panel, or breaker box.
The breaker box is typically attached to the outside of your home near your electrical meter. Resetting the main breaker may restore power. You will not need any tools. But if you're not comfortable working with breakers and switches, play it safe and call an electrician to help you. (Service fees may apply.)
Tenants in apartments and commercial buildings may want to contact their manager or maintenance person for assistance.
If the main circuit breaker has switched to the "off" or "trip" position, follow these steps to reset your breaker:
- Prevent shock
- wear safety glasses
- make sure your hands are dry
- stand to the side of the main breaker
- stand on a dry surface - do not stand in water
- Firmly press the large, main breaker to the "off" position. Then firmly press it back 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.