Before the storm
- Know where your main breaker disconnect is.
- Unplug sensitive electrical equipment.
- Secure items that could become airborne and strike a power line (flags, grill covers, etc.)
- Inspect any alternative energy sources such as generators to make sure they work and are safe.
During the storm
- Your smart meter notifies us of the outage, so you don't have to.
- Don't use candles for lighting. The risk of fire is too great.
- Unplug as many appliances as possible. This will prevent damage from a power surge when power is restored.
- If outside, don't allow anyone to touch or drive over a power line. Always assume a downed line is dangerous, even if it's not jumping or sparking.
After the storm
- If you have unplugged appliances, it's safe to plug them back in once power has been restored. Do them one by one to avoid overloading a circuit.
- Check the area for downed lines, especially when clearing broken tree branches. If you see one, contact us immediately at 1-800-ALLIANT (800-255-4268). Always assume a downed line is dangerous, even if it's not jumping or sparking.
- Do not attempt to assist emergency and utility crews. What may seem like help can actually hamper restoration and safety efforts.
- Keep roads clear for first responders and restoration workers.
- Never use a portable generator inside a home, garage, or crawl space, other enclosed areas, or anywhere exhaust fumes can enter enclosed spaces.
- If you are using a generator, make sure you shut off your main disconnect so it does not backfeed in to the system and hurt a technician working on downed lines.
- Be wary of criminals impersonating electric company employees. Scammers are opportunistic and will use storms and other disasters to target electric customers. Electric companies do not require payment to restore electricity after a natural disaster or other outage.
- For longer outages, here are some tips from the FDA for keeping your food safe while we work to restore power.
Do you need an electrician?
By law, we can only repair the incoming service line and your meter. Depending on where damage is located, you may need to contact a licensed electrician for additional repairs.
Don't do it yourself! Leave all work to trained and licensed electricians.
Hiring an electrician
Unfortunately, the worst disasters attract some people who are looking for a financial gain from others' loss. Most reputable contractors will not solicit you to repair damage to your home or business. It's best to be careful when choosing who will do the work for you.
- Use the local phone book or Alliant Energy's Dealer Locator to find a reputable contractor or electrician to repair damage.
- Always make sure that the workers are fully insured and licensed by your community or state.
- Be sure that they file for and provide the proper permits, if necessary, before making a down payment for the work.
- Never pay for the entire cost of the work before it is done.
- Ask for local references, and check them before making a down payment.
Never walk through a flooded home or basement unless utility services are turned off.
Even a small amount of water on the floor of your basement can put you at risk for electrocution.
Standing water can snuff out pilot lights on hot water heaters and furnaces. If this occurs, natural gas may collect in your home, creating the risk of an explosion.
Call us to have both electric and natural gas service disconnected at the meter.
Once the power is disconnected, it’s safe to begin clean up.
Before calling us to reconnect service:
- Electric: Have a licensed electrician inspect your electrical system. Find out which components property owners are responsible for, and which components Alliant Energy will repair.
- Natural Gas: Have your furnace and water heater inspected by a heating or appliance service and repair contractor. Gas appliance manufacturers recommend replacing appliance parts that have been under water.
We do not charge for turning off your service when flooding occurs, or turning it back on after the cleanup is done.