Reporting an Outage
If your service is interrupted, the first thing to do is check your fuses or breakers to make sure the problem is not your own. Next, check to see if your neighbors have service. This gives line crews some idea of the extent of the outage. Get your bill and have your account number ready to give to the dispatcher; then call Riverland Energy at 1-800-927-6206 to report the trouble.
If no one answers or if the line is busy, keep trying. In reporting an outage, give the dispatcher the name the service is in (the name on the bill), the account number on the bill, and your phone number. This information will help us locate your place quickly. If you have information about the cause of the outage (tree limb, broken pole, etc.) please tell the dispatcher. This will also speed the restoration of service.
Be patient, your service will be restored as soon as possible. Line outages will be repaired first, then the individuals’ service will be next.
More Outage Information
Riverland Energy utilizes the Cooperative Response Center, Inc. (CRC) Call Center to answer our overflow calls and outages after regular office hours.
To utilize our texting service, you will need to complete a short registration process. Your cell phone number must also be on file at REC for the registration process to be completed successfully. If you have not provided your cell phone number to the co-op in the past, please contact us at 800-411-9115 to do so.
- Accept Terms of Agreement.
- Enter account number and cell phone number. Click Go.
- Enter verification code from cell phone. Click verify. Note if cell phone number is not listed on your Riverland Energy account, please wait 24-48 hours to complete registration.
- If multiple accounts, select account number to be included in outage texting.
- Once information is entered correctly, a welcome message should be sent to your cell phone.
Texting an Outage
Texting your outage to REC just requires a few simple steps:
- Open a new text message in your cell phone,
- Type “Outage” (without quotes, not case sensitive),
- Enter (55050) in the “Send To” field, and
- Send the message.
For multiple accounts, key word indicators (e.g., home, garage, well, cabin, etc.) can be used in the outage report. For example, in the case of a power outage at your cabin, you would type “Outage Cabin.” If all your accounts are without power, you would type “Outage All”.
Once the text is received and verified by REC’s outage management system, you will receive an “Outage Reported Successfully” text message. And, once the outage has been restored, a text confirming the restoral will be sent to you. If you find you are still without power, it will direct you to call the cooperative with the contact number you provided.
Our high-volume automated call answering system helps relay problems to our staff quickly and effectively during major interruptions. This system helps us pinpoint issues during major events which allows us to more efficiently dispatch crews.
Although the automated system can be frustrating at times, it allows us to take a high volume of calls in a short amount of time. We, as would you, prefer direct contact during outage situations. However during periods of high call volume, our automated system collects outage information thereby allowing REC staff to focus on restoring your power.
Power Line Safety After the Storm
Severe weather happens year-round. Tornadoes, hurricanes and other storms can seriously damage power lines and other electrical equipment. Storm damage causes dangers that lurk after a storm has passed. Safe Electricity and Riverland Energy encourages you to be aware of and prepared for those dangers.
When you see power lines on the ground following a storm, stay away, warn others to stay away and contact the electric utility. Lines do not have to be arcing or sparking to be live. Any utility wire, including telephone or cable lines sagging or down could be in contact with an energized power line making they also very dangerous, so stay away from all of them.
Be alert to the possibility that tree limbs or debris may hide an electrical hazard. A downed power line can energize things around it, such as chain link fences and metal culverts.
Keep in mind that a line that’s indeed “dead” could become energized during power restoration efforts or improper use of generators.
If you are driving and come upon a downed power line, stay in your vehicle, warn others to stay away and contact emergency personnel or the electric utility. Never drive over a downed line. It could cause poles or other equipment to come crashing down.
If you are in a car that has come in contact with a downed power line, stay in your vehicle. Wait until the utility has arrived and de-energized the line. Warn others not to approach the car. If you must leave your car, only in the case of fire, jump free from the car and hop away from it with both feet together.
If you have a generator, know how to use is safely. If your generator is permanent, call a qualified electrician to install it.
When ice and heavy snow bring down limbs and power lines, safety is a consideration indoors and out. Make sure you know how to weather the storm.
When outside, stay away from downed power lines:
- A power line need not be sparking or arcing to be energized. Equipment near power lines can also be energized and dangerous.
- Lines that appear to be “dead” can become energized as crews work to restore power or sometimes from improper use of emergency generators. Assume all low and downed lines are energized and dangerous. If you see a downed or sagging line, contact your utility.
- If you are in an auto accident involving a downed power line, your vehicle is usually the safest place to be (unless it is on fire). If it is safe to do so, stay in your car, call 9-1-1, and wait for electric utility personnel to arrive to deenrgize the power. If you step out of the car and the ground is energized, you could become the electrical current’s path to ground and you could be electrocuted. If your car is on fire or you see smoke, make a solid, clean jump from your vehicle and hop away with your feet together as far away as you can. If you run or walk away, you could get electrocuted.
- Motorists should never drive over a downed line, as snagging a line could pull down a pole or other equipment and cause other hazards.
- Be careful approaching intersections where traffic or crossing lights may be out.
- If you plan to use a generator, know how to operate it safely
Before a winter storm, have supplies on hand and know how to stay warm:
- Always keep a battery-powered radio or TV, flashlights, and a supply of fresh batteries. Also, have water, blankets, and non-perishable food.
- When power goes out, it often comes back in spikes. This can damage electronics. Keep your electronics safe by unplugging them when the power goes out. Leave one lamp or switch on as a signal for when your power returns.
- To prevent water pipes from freezing, keep faucets turned on slightly, so water drips from the tap. Know how to shut off water valves in case a pipe bursts.
- Never use a charcoal grill to cook or heat with inside the home. Burning charcoal gives off deadly carbon monoxide gas. Charcoal grills should only be used outdoors.
- If you live with a child or elderly person, you may need to take them somewhere with power, so they can stay warm. If you are healthy enough to stay home safely, there are ways to stay warm: stay inside and dress warmly in layered clothing.
- Close off unneeded rooms.
- When using an alternate heat source, follow operating instructions, use fire safeguards, and be sure to ventilate properly.