Operational Excellence
April 12, 2020

A practical guide to severe weather season

How to be aware and prepared

All across the country, as we transition from winter to spring, it’s often when the air becomes warmer and more active, and the potential for thunderstorms and tornadoes becomes real. And in times of crisis, the threat of severe weather deserves added attention.

So it’s especially wise to consider two approaches for your safety and well-being; be aware and be prepared.

Know what’s coming

Awareness is simply paying attention to the conditions and forecasts. And an easy solution is to use a weather forecasting app on your smartphone. Here are some weather app suggestions to help.

Be ready

Xcel Energy reminds customers to prepare for severe weather, and know that the company is prepared to respond when outages happen due to any kind of severe weather. 

Before severe weather strikes, here are some simple things do to stay safe and be in the know.

1)     Sign up for outage notifications

If outages occur, it’s essential to have access to the most recent updates about power restoration. Sign up for outage notifications through the My Account feature on the Xcel Energy website or by downloading the mobile app available on iOS and Android.

Additionally, the Xcel Energy website hosts an outage map that displays information on the number of customers out and anticipated time for restoration. You can also stay informed by following Xcel Energy on Facebook and Twitter.

            Special notice: Flood Resources

With the significant  snowfalls and fast spring melting, it’s smart to be aware of ways to prepare and respond to flooding. Use this page as a guide to electrical and natural gas safety issues.

2)     Report your outage.

Get a jump on power restoration by reporting outages. You have many ways to report outages.

  • Via the Xcel Energy mobile app available on iOS and Android
  • Online at xcelenergy.com/out
  • Via text by texting ‘OUT’ to 98936 to report an outage, or text STAT to the same number to check the status of a power outage.
  • Call 1-800-895-1999 and follow the prompts—the automated phone reporting system lets you report outages in less than 60 seconds. Once the cause of the problem is identified, the system or an Xcel Energy representative will provide customers with an estimated restoration time.

Xcel Energy takes preparedness seriously

Xcel Energy is known for fast restoration during weather-related outages, and one reason for that is the preparation done in advance. Crews and equipment are assembled in advance at local service centers when threatening conditions are on the horizon. Xcel Energy invests in its infrastructure to ensure it is robust and reliable. The company also trains employees so they can respond quickly, enlists outside companies to assist when necessary, and partners with communities to protect the public.

Other ways to prepare and stay safe

  • Stay away from downed power lines. Always assume an electric line, even one that is on or near the ground, is energized and therefore dangerous. Never, under any circumstance, touch or move a downed power line. If you come across a downed power line, leave the area and report it immediately by calling 1-800-895-1999.
  • Build a home emergency kit. Xcel Energy recommends assembling an easily accessible kit that you can rely on in the event of a power outage. Useful items may include:
    • Xcel Energy phone numbers - 1-800-895-1999 for residential or 1-800-481-4700 for business
    • Battery-powered radio or television
    • Flashlights
    • Batteries
    • Back up phone chargers
    • Bottled water and nonperishable food
    • Manual can opener
    • First aid kit
    • Extension cords (for partial outages)
    • Manufacturer's instructions on how to manually open power-operated doors (e.g., garage doors)
    • Observe food safety. According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), food safety is directly related to the temperature of the food. To maintain refrigerator and freezer temperatures, keep doors closed as much as possible. A full freezer will stay at freezing temperatures for approximately two days, and a half-full freezer for about one day. Visit the USDA website for more information.

The best approaches for severe weather season: be aware and be prepared.