Power Outages

Report An Outage

When the lights go out, complete the following steps:

  1. Look around your neighborhood to determine if the power outage affects everyone or just your home.
  2. Check your meter. If there are numbers in the display, then you have power and the problem may be a tripped breaker or blown fuse in your home.
  3. If there are no numbers on the display, you are experiencing a power outage. Call Ohop Mutual Light Company at (253) 847-4363 and report your outage!
  4. Turn on a porch light that is visible from the road. This will help our crews know when power is restored.
  5. Turn off all electric furnaces, water heaters, sensitive electronic equipment and cooking equipment. After the power is restored, turn them back on one at a time in 15-minute intervals. This helps prevent further power outages (by not overloading the system).

How We Restore Power

During power outages, Ohop Mutual Light Company will restore power utilizing the following priorities:

  1. Life-threatening situations are addressed first
  2. Substations are Repaired as thousands of customers are fed from a substation
  3. Distribution lines and Feeders are repaired. Repair to these lines is prioritized by the number of people fed from the lines. When main distribution lines are re-energized, entire neighborhoods will have power restored.
  4. Service Lines are Repaired.

Keeping Food During an Outage

Keep your refrigerator and freezer doors closed. Your refrigerator will keep food cold for about 4 hours if it is not opened.

Food in the freezer will stay frozen for about 2 days if the freezer is full; however, if the freezer is only half full food will only remain frozen for about 1 day.

Be sure to use a thermometer in your refrigerator to ensure foods that spoil quickly are monitored and disposed of if they go bad.

Momentary Outages

Ohop Mutual’s electric distribution system is protected by devices called reclosers. When problems such as a branch on the line occurs, reclosers de-energize the lines to protect customers and equipment.

A recloser will wait a few seconds after de-energizing a line and then try to re-energize it. If the problem is cleared, the power will stay on. If not, the reclosers will de-energize the line again. Generally, the recloser will do this 2-3 times before shutting down the power.

This is the reason you see momentary interruptions in your power. If the power stays on, you do not need to call to our office. The recloser has done its job.

Stay Safe Around Downed Lines

If you see a downed power line, call our office immediately at (253) 847-4363 or call 9-1-1

Never touch a downed power line.

Stay at least 200 feet away from any downed power line. The ground may be energized, making it very dangerous.

Never touch trees, limbs, fences, vehicles or any other items that are touching power lines. They can be just as dangerous as the power line itself.

Do Not drive on or over a downed power line, or under a line that is sagging over a road.

If a downed power line falls on your vehicle, stay in the vehicle. Do not get out unless the vehicle is on fire!

Note: If you have to get out of the vehicle, try to do so without touching the vehicle and the ground at the same time. Jump from the vehicle, landing with your feet together on the ground. Shuffle or hop from the vehicle until you are at least 50 feet away; if you walk or run, your legs may bridge current from areas of high and low voltage, resulting in electric shock.

Emergency Kit

Prepare for an Emergency such as a natural disaster or extended power outage by creating an emergency kit. Some of the items to include in the kit:

  • First Aid Items
  • Flashlight and Fresh Batteries
  • Lantern, candles and matches
  • Water (One gallon per person per day)
  • Sleeping Bag
  • Warm Clothes
  • Solar or battery-operated Radio
  • Firewood/Kindling (if you have a fireplace)
  • Nonperishable food items such as Granola Bars, Dried Fruit, etc.
  • Barbecue for outdoor cooking
  • Card Games & Books for entertainment
  • Have a Family Communications Plan – make sure everyone in the family knows what to do in an emergency.

Customers with Special Needs

If someone in your home has a disability or requires life support equipment, it is vital that you prepare for the possibility of a storm, power outage, or other emergency.

The American Red Cross has a pamphlet available called “Disaster Preparedness for People with Special Needs and Persons Age 65 and Older”. You can get a copy of this pamphlet by using the hyperlink below or calling our office. We would be happy to mail one to you.

Disaster Preparedness for People with Special Needs and Persons Age 65 and Older


If you use a generator during a power outage – ensure a proper transfer switch is used. The transfer switch should automatically disconnect your home from the power grid and connect it to the generator.

Improper use of a generator can risk the lives of our crew working on the power lines.