Outage Tips

lightning storm

Outage tips

What to do if the power goes out

  • Check to see if the lights are out in neighboring homes. If they are, you're most likely a part of a larger power outage.
  • If your block is without power, call SMUD's toll-free outage line at 1-888-456-SMUD (7683).
  • While waiting for electricity to be restored, turn off all electric appliances and switches, except the porch light or other light that SMUD crews can see from the street when power is back on. Having just one light on lowers the initial demand for electricity and makes it easier for SMUD crews to restore electric service.
  • Protect your household appliances and sensitive electronic devices from damaging power surges caused by wind and lightning storms. Learn more about our Power Protection Service.
  • Listen to news reports to learn when the outage has been restored.

Restoring your electric service

The following priorities are used to determine where crews will be sent during a storm:

  • Public safety hazards (power lines down, poles down)
  • Hospitals and critical flood control pumps
  • Areas with large numbers of customers out of power
  • Scattered, smaller outages

If neighborhood power is back, but not at your house

  • If power has been restored to your area, but your power has not come back on, the problem may be in the service panel that's attached to the outside of your home.
  • First, making sure that you are not standing in water and that your hands are dry, check to see if the main circuit breaker switch has flipped to the "off" or "trip" position.
  • If it has, firmly push the switch to the "off" position and then to the "on" position.
  • If the power still does not come on, call SMUD's toll-free outage line at 1-888-456-SMUD (7683) to report the situation.

Stay away from downed power lines

If power lines are down, immediately call 911 or SMUD's toll-free outage line at 1-888-456-SMUD (7683).

Assume the power line is "energized" and stay away while warning others of danger.

If the downed power lines have fallen on a motor vehicle, avoid contact with the vehicle. It has probably been electrified and deadly shock could result if you touch the vehicle. Stay clear until you are sure the power is shut off.

How SMUD prepares

Our workers perform maintenance activities year-round to help ensure the reliability of SMUD power lines. Our tree-trimming efforts in particular have resulted in a huge reduction in tree related outages. We are also replacing old underground cables, which will significantly lower cable-related outages.

How you can prepare

Nobody expects to have the power go out, but if it does these storm safety tips can make things easier until power is restored.

Storm tips brochure in various languages

The information on this page is also available in brochure form in the languages listed below.

To have this Winter Storm Tips brochure mailed to you, call SMUD Customer Service at 1-888-742-7683.

Related Topics

  • The District offers programs to provide equal opportunity to all segments of the business community.
  • SMUD is nationally recognized as a leader in renewable resources and electric transportation.

Staying ahead of the storm

We prepare year-round for winter storms.

older couple

Preparing for winter storms

A few common-sense tips will help you to get ready.

Learn More