Tips & Info

Tips & Info

GUC’s Emergency Storm Plan is ready to be put into action at a moment’s notice. During a hurricane or winter storm, visit Storm Central for the latest updates.

We suggest the following during weather emergencies:

  • If your power goes out, check to see if the outage includes other houses in your neighborhood. If it hasn't, check your fuse box and circuit breaker panel to see if you can locate the problem. If the neighboring houses are dark too, look to see if there are any trees or branches in the lines, and if there are downed wires, flashes of light or any other sign of trouble.  
  • When an outage occurs, call Greenville Utilities at our toll-free Emergency Hotline, 1-855-767-2482. Please be patient. Greenville Utilities emergency storm plan is designed to restore electric service to the largest amount of customers in the quickest amount of time. Primary lines are repaired first, followed by secondary lines that serve fewer customers. We also consider medical facilities and individual customers on life-support systems a top priority.
  • Don't touch or attempt to move an electric lines or trees or any other obstacles in contact with electric lines. Stay well away from dangerous areas. If a wire falls on your car while you're in it, stay in the car until the wire is removed.
  • Sometimes tree limbs fall on the wires coming from the pole to your house with such force that the wiring and meter base are pulled from the house. In this case, you must call an electrician to make repairs before GUC can restore your power.
  • To prevent overloading the system when power is restored, when the power goes out, turn off everything in your home except for one light. If the outage lasts over 60 minutes, turn off your water heater too. In addition, make sure the surface elements on your range have been turned off and that other heat‑producing appliances are off as well. If left on, they can pose a serious fire hazard. When the light you've left on glows, you'll know power has been restored. Over the next 30‑40 minutes, slowly switch your appliances back on. Leave a porch light on so that GUC repair crews will know when your service has been restored.

Hot Weather Outages
A lengthy outage in the summer requires you to take extra precautions to cope with the heat. Hot weather can place a dangerous strain on your body, especially your heart. Prescription drugs for high blood pressure, nervousness, depression, poor circulation or insomnia may make you more vulnerable to the heat. Check with your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking medicine for any of these conditions.

  • If you have advance warning that a severe storm may hit, fill the bathtub with water for later use and store water in plastic or glass containers for drinking.
  • Toilets can be flushed by pouring a bucket of water into the bowl.

As the temperature rises in your home, you may be at a higher risk for developing hyperthermia. This means that your body temperature has increased from being exposed to the heat. The best way to prevent hyperthermia is to stay cool.

  • Spend as much time as you can in cool areas: a cool room in your home, the library or a shopping mall.
  • Close drapes and shades during the hottest part of the day to block the sun’s rays.
  • Wear loose-fitting, lightweight cotton or cotton-blend clothing.
  • Drink plenty of nonalcoholic liquids.
  • Take cool baths or showers or place wet towels on your body to cool it down. This provides more relief from the heat than cool air.
  • Slow down. Physical activity produces body heat.

Cold-Weather Outages
An extended power outage in the winter presents a challenge for coping with cold-weather conditions. Be prepared to take additional precautions.

  • A fireplace or wood stove provides the best source of heat in an emergency.
  • Use camp stoves or LP heaters only with proper ventilation and safety precautions.
  • Never use a charcoal or gas grill in your home.
  • Never use a gas oven or range top for space heating.
  • If it’s extremely cold outside, turn on water faucets to a trickle to prevent frozen or broken pipes, especially those on outside walls
  • If the temperature in your house drops below 40° F: 
    -Collect water in clean containers to use for drinking and cleaning purposes 
    -Turn off the water main 
    -Open all faucets 
    -Drain sinks, tubs, toilets, sump pumps and floor drains 
    -Add antifreeze to standing water in toilets and floor drains. If any pipes freeze, contact a qualified professional to thaw them. Never use a torch or open flame to thaw pipes

If the temperature in your home stays below 65° F during an extended outage, you may be at risk for developing hypothermia. Those who have the highest risk of hypothermia are the elderly, the very young, people with heart problems, hypothyroid patients, people on sedatives and heavy alcohol users. Hypothermia occurs when the core temperature of your body falls below 96 degree F. (the normal body temperature is 98.6 degrees F.) Be aware that hypothermia can occur even at mild temperatures if exposure is prolonged.  Bundle up, dress in layers and wear good-quality thermal-underwear during long periods of exposure to cold weather.

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