What Can I do Now to Prepare?
Make sure the U.C. has your correct phone number on file by calling Customer Service at (386) 427-1361 before a storm hits. Trim your trees properly to minimize their potential impact on your home and neighborhood. Do not attempt to trim any vegetation growing on or near any overhead power lines. Only trained line-clearing professionals should work around power lines. Check your local listings to locate a contractor qualified to trim vegetation around power lines. The U.C. regularly maintains trees growing near high-voltage power lines (these are lines that are not directly connected to your home.) Let us know if you see trees that are endangering high- voltage power lines. A tree trimming company will call the U.C. to de-energize the lines if required. If someone in your home is dependent on electric-powered, life-sustaining medical equipment, review your family emergency plan for back-up power or make arrangements to relocate when a storm warning is issued. The U.C. cannot promise uninterrupted service due to several factors, including severe weather events such as a hurricane.
When a power outage occurs, your safety is our main concern. Here are some basic tips to keep you and your family safe while the power is out:
- It can be difficult to distinguish among telephone, cable, and electric wires, especially if they are on the ground after a storm. If you see any downed lines, assume they are live electric lines, and stay far away from them and other damaged electrical equipment. Call 911 or UCNSB at 386-427-1366.
- Keep away from flooded and debris-laden areas because they may be hiding downed lines.
- Avoid driving in damaged areas. You might interfere with rescue or restoration efforts, as well as jeopardize your own safety.
Because of reduced pressures and limited lift station operation, water conservation after a storm is imperative. Remember, just because power has been restored to your home does not mean that power has been restored to all lift stations within your neighborhood.
- Limit the amount of toilet flushing.
- Abstain from running dishwashers and clothes washers.
- Limit the amount of water used during a shower or the amount to fill the bathtub.
- Turn off all sprinklers. Remember to reset your irrigation timer once power has been restored.
- Abstain from pressure washing, car washing, or any other outdoor use of water that is not necessary.
Water Safety Before and After a Storm -
Before the Hurricane
- Locate your residence's emergency water shut-off valve and remove any shrubbery or obstructions. Test the water shut-off valve to be sure that it is operational. If the shut-off valve is not operational, have it repaired or replaced.
- Turn off the emergency water shut-off valve if you are leaving your residence prior to a storm. This will help minimize damage to your home's interior should a pipe burst inside the home.
- If you turn off water to your home, follow the manufacturer's recommendations on turning off your hot water heater. Some hot water heaters may be damaged if water supply is turned off for an extended period of time without proper procedures.
- Locate your sewer clean-out lid and remove any shrubbery or obstructions in case the clean-out needs to be utilized after the storm.
After the Hurricane
- Due to power outages, our water treatment plant could be operating under limited conditions and pressures could be reduced.
- Due to power outages, lift stations that are used to convey sewage to the Water Reclamation Facility may not work or have only limited operations. Over-use of toilet flushing or water going down drains may cause lift stations to overflow and backup into your home. For this reason, DO NOT LIFT SEWER COVERS TO DRAIN STORMWATER FROM YOUR YARD OR STREET. THIS CAN PLACE EXTREME STRAINS ON THE OPERATIONS OF LIFT STATIONS AND THE TREATMENT FACILITY.
Broken Water Mains and Running Water
If you see a broken pipe with running water, avoid contact with the water and report it to the U.C. at (386) 427-1368.
Avoid all standing water. It may be contaminated or be energized by a downed power line.
If pressure is lost in a water main, precautionary boil water notifications may be issued. Residents should bring water to a rolling boil for one minute to kill any disease-causing microorganisms. If you cannot boil water, add six drops of newly purchased, unscented liquid household bleach per gallon of water, stir well and let the water stand for 30 minutes before using it. Remember that bleach will not kill parasitic organisms. You can also use water-purifying tablets. If a hurricane causes large-scale power outages, the U.C. will restore service to our customers in a safe, orderly, and effective manner and will do so as quickly as possible.
How the UC Restores Power
If a hurricane causes large-scale power outages, the U.C. will restore service to our customers in a safe, orderly, and effective manner and will do so as quickly as possible.
Restoration is determined by priority
- Priority is given to circuits with large numbers of customers and shorter restoration times.
- Priority is given to critical areas such as hospitals, police, fire stations, and other emergency facilities.
- Priority is also given to grocery stores, gas stations and other essential service providers.
- If you live where there are trees and overhead lines, it requires time to get the trees cut from the lines and repair/replace broken poles to restore service.
- If you have underground lines, there may be damages due to brackish water flooding and longer repair times will be necessary for locating and repairing transformers and other equipment.
Why Does my Neighbor have Power but I Don't?
- You may be on a different feeder line or transformer than nearby neighbors.
- The service line to your home may have been damaged and need repairs before you can be reconnected. The U.C. is responsible for repairing the service line and electric meter.
- The weatherhead connection, where the electric lines meet the electric meter on your home, may have been damaged. The customer is responsible for having a licensed electrician repair the weatherhead and meter base before the U.C. can restore power.
Responsibility for Damaged Utilities
|UC's Responsibility||Customer's Responsibility|
|Electric||Damage to the UC's conductors (residential), electric meters, and service line||The meter box and your weatherhead or rise which are the technical names for the pipes and wires coming into and out of the meter box and house.|
|Water||Everything from the main service up the water meter.||The pipe running from the water meter to the house.|
|Wastewater||Damage to lines outside the property line (at the clean out).||Repairs inside the property line (between the clean out and the house).|
Important Contact Information
Customer Service: (386) 427-1361
After Hours Electrical Outage Line: (386) 427-1366
After Hours Water Resources (water & sewer) Outage Line: (386) 427-1368
Website: www.ucnsb.org (You can subscribe to receive email & text updates).
Information also available on UCNSB’s Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter pages.
Remember! Watch for downed power lines. Do not approach them. Call (386) 427-1366 or 911 to report them.