What should I do when the lights go out from a hurricane or other severe storm?
First, check your fuse or breaker box. Replacing fuses or resetting breakers may get the lights back on. If not, call your power company. Tampa Electric: 1-877-588-1010; Progress Energy: 1-800-228-8485; Lakeland Electric: 1-866-834-4248
I can't get the power back on. When will the utility get it working again?
The short answer is as soon as safely and humanly possible for utility crews. Generally, repair crews will not work during the storm or in flooded areas. It can be deadly and counterproductive. Power restoration will begin after the storm.
How do utilities determine which damage to repair first?
First, power is returned to vital public buildings, such as hospitals, emergency centers, and police and fire stations. Then, water and sewer facilities and other facilities that provide important public services get power restored.
After that, electric utility crews restore power to the largest number of customers possible. That usually means repairing power lines and circuits that serve the highest number of customers first and then moving on to lines that serve smaller groups of customers.
What should I do if water might flood my home or business during a storm?
Use the master switch to turn off the electricity at the fuse or circuit box. If there is no master switch, turn off each breaker and unscrew all fuses. Do not touch fuses or breakers - or use electrical appliances - while standing in water or on a wet surface.
What should I do if lines are down on my street, in my yard or across my car?
Stay away from fallen power lines, assume they are energized and report them to the utility. Also, be careful walking in floodwater, which might conceal fallen power lines that could electrocute you.
If you're in your car and a line falls across the car, stay in your vehicle if there appears to be no immediate danger of fire. Call for help or try to drive away from the wire.
If you're injured or there is fire and you must leave your vehicle, do not touch any part of the car while touching the ground. Try to jump clear of the vehicle without touching the wire or the vehicle.