Alabama Power offers winter weather safety tips

Even in the South, we experience an occasional winter storm. Ice storms — prolonged periods of freezing rain — are usually our most severe winter weather threat.  Trees, power lines, roads and walkways can become covered with ice and power interruptions are possible.

You can make winter storms more bearable by being prepared. Stay advised of the storm's progress by monitoring a NOAA weather radio. When severe winter weather is predicted, make sure you and your family are ready for it.


Be prepared

·         Check your supplies of non-perishable foods and heating fuel. Stock up if needed.


·         Fill your tub and spare containers with water in case your electric water pump or the local water system goes out.


·         Charge your cell phone and other electronic devices before the storm.


·         Make certain you have several days’ worth of any prescribed medicine you may take.


·         Make sure you have a flashlight, battery-powered radio and fresh batteries handy.


·         Check to ensure that elderly family members or friends who live alone are prepared for the weather.





Winter storm tips

Should you lose electric service, keep the following tips in mind:


·         Use non-electric, unvented space heaters only in well-ventilated areas.


·         Use a camp stove, fireplace or can of Sterno for cooking. Don't use charcoal or any other fuels in unventilated areas.


·         If you use an electric generator, plug electric appliances directly into it. Do not plug the generator into your home's electrical wiring.


·         Disconnect or turn off appliances that were on when the power interruption occurred. Leave a light on so you know when service is restored.


·         Avoid opening your refrigerator or freezer. Food will stay frozen in a fully loaded freezer for 36 to 48 hours if the door remains closed. If the freezer is half full, the food will generally keep 24 hours.


If you have a life-threatening medical emergency, call 911.


Be Safe

·         Treat any downed wire as if it is energized because you can't tell by looking if a downed wire is live or not. Telephone or cable television wires that are touching a power line could become energized and should also be avoided. Notify us, your local emergency agency, or call 911 to report the location of any downed lines.


·         Don't attempt to repair the electrical system or pull tree limbs off lines. Let our trained work crews perform this potentially dangerous work.


·         Stay clear of areas where there is a lot of debris or downed trees because it could conceal an energized power line. Also stay clear of chain link fences which may be energized if touching a downed line.


·         If you have an electric generator, please ensure that you have isolated your home or business from the utility electrical service lines by opening main breakers or other devices. Do not connect portable generators to your household electrical wiring. This can cause serious injury to you and to our employees working on the lines in your neighborhood. Connect only essential appliances -- such as freezers and refrigerators -- directly to the generator.


·         If your power is off, turn off large appliances and wait 10 to 15 minutes after power has been restored before turning them back on.


·         If there is damage to your meter box or the pole attached to your meter box, you must first have an electrician make repairs before we can restore your service.


·         Stay clear from areas where our crews are working. If driving, follow road signs, drive cautiously and follow posted directions in the area of a work crew.


·         Please be patient. Our crews will work as fast as safety allows. Before neighborhood lines can be worked on, our crews must first repair larger lines that bring power into neighborhoods.


Safety comes first.

Stay away from all downed wires. Even if you think they may be phone or cable television wires, stay away from downed lines. Don't step in nearby puddles or attempt to move any object that comes in contact with a wire. Report downed wires immediately to Alabama Power and your local public safety authorities.


·         We also safeguard our employees. We do not ask them to make repairs when weather conditions are hazardous or when the damaged area is dangerous due to flooding or inaccessibility. In such extreme situations, we ask for your patience and understanding. Our employees will begin restoring power as soon as safely possible.


·         Our dedicated restoration teams will be working hard to restore your power. Our crews are highly trained and nationally recognized when it comes to restoring power. When a major storm strikes, we bring in additional crews from other areas to ensure you get your power turned on as quickly as possible.


For more information about Alabama Power, safety information and how to conserve energy during winter months go online to


Alabama Power, a subsidiary of Atlanta-based Southern Company (NYSE: SO), provides reliable, affordable electricity to more than 1.4 million customers across the state.


News Media Contact:  Patrick J. Wylie, 205-257-4155