Reliability is one of our highest priorities, and KPUB is proud to be nationally recognized by the American Public Power Association for achieving exceptional electric reliability in 2019. But power outages do happen, for a number of reasons—common outage causes include rain, wind, lightning and broken tree limbs. Also, vehicle accidents and wildlife are frequent causes of outages.
If your neighbors have power and you do not, we encourage you to check your breakers.
NEW (just for SmartHub users)! Stay on top of power outages with text updates.
KPUB has a new & convenient way for customers to report and receive updates on an outage via text messaging. Through two-way texting, customers will have the ability to text a keyword to KPUB & report an outage or receive a status update regarding a current outage issue.
HOW TO REPORT AN OUTAGE VIA TEXT:
• Through our new two-way texting feature, simply text 1.855.959.2496 (our shortcode KPUB toll-free SMS number) to notify us that your power is out
• Registered SmartHub users can text OUT to 1.855.959.2496 to report an outage
• Text STATUS to 1.855.959.2496 to check the outage status and receive an update
To ensure you receive a text alert message with two-way communications, you must have a SmartHub account & we need to have an up-to-date mobile number for you (and SmartHub is free!). You can update your phone number and email address through your SmartHub account under notifications & manage my contacts.
You must also just have a single active KPUB account to be eligible to report text outages (multiple account holders are not eligible for the text feature). If you have more than one KPUB account, you can utilize the SmartHub app/online login to report an outage. Outages can be reported under the “report an issue/inquiry” link through the home screen on the SmartHub app or online after logging in under the “contact us” menu option under the “report an issue/inquiry” dropdown.
Power Outage FAQ & Safety Tips
How do you determine who gets power restored first?
KPUB cannot respond to every outage at once, so we categorize the size of the outage and services impacted to create the most effective and efficient plan.
During a typical outage, KPUB will determine the order of power restoration in the following sequence:
- Dangerous situations such as fires and downed power lines are always prioritized first.
- Critical system loads that include communications systems, water/wastewater pump stations, hospitals, and other services vital to public welfare.
- Substation equipment serving larger numbers of customers.
- Distribution lines serving subdivisions, large housing areas, and commercial areas.
- Service lines and transformers that serve small numbers of customers.
- Service lines and transformers serving individual customers.
How do I report my power outage?
Why do I need to report my power outage? Doesn’t KPUB already know my power is out?
All of KPUB’s customers are served by an automated metering infrastructure (AMI) meter, so KPUB is normally notified automatically when your power is out. However, the more reports we receive about an outage, the better we can identify the cause of the outage and the impact on our customers.
Additionally, you may have information that may help KPUB more quickly identify the problem in your area, such as being able to see a tree on the line that you want to share with KPUB. These details help us to develop a restoration plan to quickly get your power restored.
Is there a way to see how many KPUB customers are experiencing an outage?
KPUB has an outage map available 24/7 that shows the number of power outages with the number of customers being affected in specific locations across our service area.
Can you tell me when my power is being restored?
My lights are flickering—What should I do?
Lights flicker when there is a sudden change in the power level. It can happen during a strong storm or when a large load such as an air conditioner, elevator or a local portable heater kicks on.
If that is the case, it is advisable to contact a licensed electrician to check the circuits and rewire if necessary.
Should I unplug sensitive electronic equipment during a power outage?
Yes. These types of electronics do not handle power surges well, and the return of power after an outage may entail a brief surge of power. In fact, during a power outage, you should also turn off any electric item that was on before the outage except for one light so you know when power is restored.
Not only does this protect your appliances, but it also eases the electrical demand when power is restored.
What do I do if I see downed power lines or trees with power lines touching them?
Stay far away from downed power lines and trees with power lines touching them. No one should go near downed lines. Trees and limbs on the ground may be in contact with energized lines and should also be avoided. If you see downed lines, call local law enforcement office or KPUB immediately to report downed power lines. If you are not able to reach law enforcement or KPUB due to high call volumes, contact 9-1-1.
What should customers with medical conditions do during an outage?
KPUB is concerned about the safety and well-being of all customers. It is important for all customers to have an emergency outage plan, especially those who must have electricity due to medical necessity. This is particularly important in the case of an extended outage and should include arrangements to move to an alternate location, use a portable generator and/or installation of a battery backup.
What should I do if a power line has fallen on a vehicle?
If a power line falls on a car or vehicle while you are in it, you should STAY INSIDE THE VEHICLE. This is the safest place to stay. Warn people not to touch the car or the line. Call or ask someone to call KPUB at 830.257.2883 and emergency services.
The only circumstance in which you should consider leaving a car that is in contact with a downed power line is if the vehicle catches on fire. If that happens, open the door, but do not step out of the car because you may receive a shock. Instead, keeping both feet together, jump free of the car so that your body clears the vehicle before touching the ground. Once you clear the vehicle, shuffle at least 50 feet away, with both feet on the ground.
As in all power line related emergencies, call for help immediately by contacting local law enforcement or 9-1-1.
Do NOT try to help someone else from the car, truck, tractor, or combine while you are standing on the ground.
Is there anything I can do to help prevent my food from going bad during an outage event?
Keep your refrigerator and freezer doors closed as much as possible to maintain the cold temperature. A refrigerator will keep food cold for about 4 hours if it is unopened. If you keep freezer doors closed, it will keep the temperature for approximately 48 hours if it is full; 24 hours if it is half-full. Dry or block ice will keep a refrigerator as cold as possible if the power is going to be out for an extended amount of time. For more information, visit www.fda.gov.
Who is responsible for the expense of food loss or damaged equipment during an outage?
Outages due to weather are beyond our control, and although we attempt to restore power as quickly and safely as possible, extensive damage can take several days to repair.
KPUB does not reimburse customers for equipment damaged or food lost during a weather-related outage. Customers should contact their renters or homeowner’s insurance carrier to determine if their policies cover such losses.
Do I receive a credit on my electric bill for the time I was without power?
You are only charged for the amount of electricity you use. During the time your service was interrupted your meter did not register electric usage and you will not be charged for any consumption.
Who is responsible for tree debris removal after a storm?
KPUB tree contractors conduct tree trimming throughout the year to keep power lines free of limbs and debris. Following a storm, KPUB does not remove tree debris caused by a storm or emergency situation. Crews may need to cut broken and uprooted trees if it is necessary to facilitate their power restoration efforts. It is still however, the responsibility of the property owner to remove the tree debris. For tree removal, you will need to call a landscape or tree contractor.
Power Outage Tips
There are a number of things you can do during a power outage to help protect your property from damage. Take a look at our power outage tips below to learn what you should do if the lights go out.
- Unplug sensitive electronics, like televisions and computers, and appliances that have motors, like air conditioners. You should also turn off all electrical appliances that were on when the power went off, especially heat pumps, or electric heat. This may prevent appliances from being damaged by power variations that can occur when power is restored.
- Keep freezer and refrigerator doors closed during outages. Food will generally stay frozen for 36 to 48 hours in a fully-loaded freezer if you keep the door closed. A half-full freezer will generally keep food frozen for 24 hours.
- As soon as power returns, check temperatures. If the food in the freezer has ice crystals and is not above 40 degrees F, you can refreeze. Perishable foods in the refrigerator should not be above 40 degrees F for more than two hours.
- Keep curtains closed and limit trips outside to retain heat for a longer period.
- Make sure to have flashlights, a battery-powered radio and fresh batteries in an easily accessible area.
- Keep a battery-operated radio tuned to a local station. If the power outage is extensive or if there are rotating outages, announcements should be made on the radio.
- If you plan to hook up a gas power powered portable generator during an outage plug appliances directly into it. Do not connect the generator directly to your house wiring.
- Do not operate a generator in a confined space and be sure the exhaust fumes are blowing away from your home.
When to call an electrician
When the power goes out, KPUB activates crews to restore service as quickly and as safely as possible.
However, if your home service connection is damaged, there are a few things you should know:
- Treat every downed power line as a live wire. Stay away from it.
- KPUB will restring a downed line or string a new line as long as there is a clear corridor of air space from the power pole to the point where the wires attach to the house. KPUB crews will untangle lines from fallen trees in most cases, but they will not remove the trees. If a fallen tree has branches creating an obstruction in that air-space corridor, the homeowner should have those branches removed.
- If electrical lines have been torn from your house, or the electric meter or power pole mast attached to your home has been damaged, contact a private electrician to make the repairs. Meter sockets and power masts attached to a house are the responsibility of the homeowner. KPUB is responsible for the wires from the power pole to the point just before they enter a house’s conduit system. KPUB crews may be able to make temporary repairs to restore electricity in some cases, but permanent repairs must be completed by an electrician.
- Contact KPUB at 1.830.257.2883 as soon as a private electrician has made the needed repairs or the branches have been trimmed.