Winter Safety

Please bookmark our mobile-friendly Outage Map in case service disruptions occur.

Review Winter Safety Tips below and find CoServ updates on Facebook and Twitter  

The best time to plan for a crisis is on a clear sunny day. This is why CoServ participates every year in a statewide winter-weather drill conducted by the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT).

The two-day drill focuses on communication surrounding the arrival of a major winter storm in North Texas and actions required by electricity providers and consumers to help maintain the integrity of the state's electrical grid and to execute load-shed procedures properly if mandated in an energy emergency.

CoServ is prepared for winter weather. Examine the checklists below to determine whether you are, as well. If you're not, consider making a plan this weekend and obtaining the supplies that will help keep you and your loved ones safe during the winter season. In addition, you can access our Weather Policy for details.

Communications

TV and the Internet are great sources of news and information, but not when the power's out and they're inaccessible. Make sure you have either a battery-operated radio or a NOAA weather radio receiver to receive weather updates and local emergency instructions.

Become familiar with the terms associated with winter storm warnings:

  • Winter Weather Advisory—Expect inconveniences and hazards
  • Frost/Freeze Warning—Expect below-freezing temperatures
  • Winter Storm Watch—Be alert; a storm is likely
  • Winter Storm Warning—A storm is in or entering your area
  • Blizzard Warning—Seek refuge immediately, because conditions outside are life-threatening.

Home

  • Turn off any sprinkler systems to prevent excess ice build-up
  • Leave faucets dripping to prevent your pipes from freezing
  • Open cabinet doors below sinks to allow heat from home to reach pipes

Food and Safety

  • Three days' worth of water (one gallon per person, per day)
  • Three days' worth of food, especially dried fruits, crackers and other no-cook items
  • Manual can opener and/or tool kit
  • First-aid kit, prescription drugs and other medicine
  • Flashlight and extra batteries; battery- or hand-powered lamps or lanterns

Vehicles

  • Fully charged cellphone, portable charger and external battery
  • Fill your vehicle with gas before the storm arrives
  • Extra coats, hats, gloves and blankets handy for warmth
  • Minimize travel as much as possible
  • Have bottled water and snacks available in case you're stranded
  • First-aid kit and flashlight
  • Booster cables and emergency flares
  • Tool kit

Three Questions

1. What if my vehicle crashes into a utility pole?

Stay in your vehicle and tell others to keep their distance because you may be in contact with a downed power line. If the situation demands your exit—there's fire or smoke in your vehicle, for instance—jump out of the vehicle with both feet together. Electricity has one goal—to make its way to the ground. By avoiding contact with the live car and the ground at the same time, you avoid becoming a path for electricity.

2. What if the carbon monoxide detector in my home goes off?

Check to see if anyone in your home is experiencing symptoms of carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning, which include sleepiness, nausea, anxiety or depression, vomiting, confusion, impaired vision and disorientation. If someone is, leave the premises immediately and dial 911. If no one is feeling symptoms, ventilate the home with fresh air and turn off all potential sources of CO. As soon as possible, have a qualified technician inspect your fuel-burning appliances and chimneys. More information about CO from CoServ Gas

3. The power goes out, and it's freezing outside. What should I do?

Check the circuit breakers in your home's electrical panel. If power is out in your entire neighborhood, check your utility's website (Outage Map on CoServ.com) and/or social-media channels (Facebook.com/CoServEnergy and/or Twitter.com/CoServ_Energy) to see whether your service disruption and a restoration time is listed. If not, contact your utility. (Call CoServ's local Customer Care at (940) 321-7800.) Estimated time of repair (ETR) can vary widely, depending on the disruption cause. Use layers of clothing to stay warm, including a knit hat and gloves.Turn off and unplug major appliances so that you avoid the possibility of a power surge when service is restored.

SOURCES: American Red Cross, American Lung Association, Consumer Energy Center, Electrical Safety Foundation International, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Visit this area of the CDC website to download and print out more detailed versions of these checklists.

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