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From a press release...
EMPIRE DISTRICT ELECTRIC COMPANY ENCOURAGES CUSTOMERS TO PREPARE FOR WINTER STORM JOPLIN, MO –
February 20, 2013 – A winter storm warning has been issued for counties in The Empire District Electric Company service area. Empire is prepared to take action should severe weather cause service interruptions.
Customers are encouraged to be prepared in case of power outages. Empire offers a variety of tips to prepare for or deal with a storm in the Outage section on Empire’s Web site at www.empiredistrict.com. If you or a member of your family depends on electricity for health reasons, develop a care plan ahead of an outage to ensure health and safety.
Customers who experience power outages should call 800-206-2300 to make a report. When calling, customers can report their outage more quickly by using the automated reporting system and having their 11-digit location number, found on the back of their bill, or the phone number or social security number associated with the account. Outages may also be reported through the Outage Center page of Empire’s Web site. If outages do occur, customers should know Empire has a well-trained storm restoration team working to make the inconvenience as short as possible.
Empire offers these safety and outage reminders: Storm Preparedness Tips Keep these items on-hand and easily accessible: Flashlights and fresh batteries A battery-powered radio A battery-powered or wind-up clock Emergency telephone numbers including Empire’s Call Center – 800-206-2300
Safety Tips Stay away from power lines. They are bare wires and not insulated. Downed power lines may appear to be harmless, but could be energized and dangerous. If a person or object is in contact with a power line, don’t touch the person, object, or line. The electric current could flow through you. Call 911 and Empire District Electric Company immediately. If your vehicle is in contact with a power line, stay inside the car. Warn others not to touch the car or the power line. If you must leave your vehicle, jump clear to avoid being in contact with the car and the ground at the same time.
Winter Outage Tips Gather in a central room where there is an alternative heat source such as a fireplace. Dress in loose layers of clothing. If the indoor temperature drops to 55 degrees F or below, open faucets slightly so they constantly drip to prevent water pipes from freezing. If candles and portable heaters are used, never leave them unattended. Never use a gas range for room heating. Never use charcoal as an indoor heating or cooking source. Never use gasoline or other flammable liquids to start or quicken a fire.
Always keep a screen around an open flame, and don’t close the damper while ashes are still hot. Remember, a fuel-burning heater, such as a kerosene heater, requires proper ventilation to prevent buildup of harmful fumes. Place heaters on a hard, non-combustible surface. Generator Safety Tips Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for proper usage of a portable generator. Operate the generator outdoors to avoid deadly fumes accumulating in the house.
When using a portable generator, plug appliances directly into the generator. Never connect a portable generator to your home’s main electrical panel; it can back feed into electric lines and endanger line workers and others.
Based in Joplin, Missouri, The Empire District Electric Company (NYSE:EDE) is an investor-owned utility providing electric, natural gas (through its wholly owned subsidiary The Empire District Gas Company), and water service, with approximately 216,000 customers in Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, and Arkansas.
A subsidiary of the Company also provides fiber optic services. For more information regarding Empire, visit www.empiredistrict.com.
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