What to do if the Lights Go Out
Some of the most severe weather in this part of the country occurs during early and late winter. Minnesota Power's electric system is designed to withstand harsh weather, but damaging storms with ice conditions and high winds can cause outages.
Report an Outage
If you should experience an interruption in electric service, here's what you can do to help us get your lights back on as soon as possible.
Call Minnesota Power's LIGHTS-OUT phone number, 1-800-30-POWER (same as 1-800-307-6937) right away to report an outage.
Please remember, phones that require a connection to an electric outlet, such as a portable phone, will probably not work during an outage. Phones that are hard-wired to telephone company circuits should continue to work. Cell phones will work as long as the battery lasts. Your call will reach an automated reporting service that will recognize the phone number and the location from which you are calling. Your phone call notifies a service representative that you are without power. You can be assured that line crews will be working to restore power in your area right away. If you are calling from a location other than that of the outage, please follow the outage reporting instructions on the phone recording. Our automated outage service only works with touch-tone phones.
To help you weather a storm, keep a Lights Out kit handy
- Keep at least one flashlight, a battery-powered radio and extra batteries in an accessible place.
- Use candles or camping lanterns with caution.
- If you have a fireplace, keep matches and firewood handy so you're prepared to build a fire to keep warm.
- Turn off televisions, stoves, microwave ovens, stereo equipment and other appliances except your refrigerator and freezer.
- Leave on at least one light so you'll know when power has been restored.
CAUTION! If you intend to use a standby generator, be sure it is isolated from electric lines feeding into your home. During an outage, the electric energy from the generator could back feed into the power line and seriously injure or kill a line worker trying to restore your power.
Lights Out Tips
If your power goes out and you feel comfortable checking your main electrical panel, check for a tripped breaker or blown fuse.
If you do not feel comfortable checking your panel or you do not find anything, call our automated Lights Out number at at 1-800-30-power (1-800-307-6937) and enter a trouble order using your touch-tone phone.
Customers relying on electric life-support equipment should have emergency power and know how to operate it. Make sure your system has an alarm to alert you if the power goes out. Minnesota Power can code your account life support. Click here to find out how.
Here are some power outage tips:
- Please do not go near any low or downed wires as injury or death could occur.
- Cold weather is especially hard on infants, children and the elderly. Dress in several layers of lightweight clothing, covering the head, feet and hands.
- Keep a flashlight with fresh batteries in a location where you can easily find it in the dark.
- Close doors, windows and curtains to keep the heat in. Use your fireplace safely.
- Use hot water sparingly. Most water heaters are insulated and will keep water hot for up to three days, depending on how much you use.
- In most cases, food should be safe if refrigerators and freezers remain closed while the power is out. When in doubt, throw it out.
- Don't forget to reset electric clocks and other electrical timing devices.
- Stock up on canned and dried foods for a quick and easy meal. Have a manual can opener.
- Know how to use the manual override of your electric garage door (usually pull down on a handled rope hanging down from opener track).
- Know which exit door to use in a secured building.
- Sometimes alarm systems are triggered when the power goes out. You may wish to make appropriate arrangements with your carrier.
- Take some precautions if you have a computer.
- Household pets such as tropical fish and birds may require special care. Contact your veterinarian for more information.
- Listen to your local AM radio station for outage updates from Minnesota Power.
- Do not call 911 or the operator unless it's a life-threatening situation.