Severe Storm Preparation

Hurricane Season runs June 1 through November 30 in Texas. During this time, there is an increased chance of severe weather in MidSouth’s service territory. It is important to be prepared for hurricanes, other storms and the challenges they bring. 

What to Do Before a Storm

  • Stay updated with the latest weather information- Get information from trusted officials in your area and listen to their emergency instructions. Bookmark important websites or social media pages for quick reference.
  • Restock your emergency preparedness kit- Include enough food and water for each of your family members for at least three days. Don’t forget to make preparations for your pets. Other items in your kit should include flashlights, batteries, cash and first aid supplies. Learn more about what should be in your kit here.
  • Prepare your home for the storm- In the days and hours before the storm makes landfall, anchor or bring indoors items that could become projectiles during strong winds. This is the time to trim or remove trees that could fall on buildings or vehicles during the storm.
  • Charge your cellphone- Take the time to charge your cellphones before the storm so you can stay in contact with family and receive updates on the storm’s progress. Consider purchasing a portable charger to help extend the longevity of your phone’s battery.
  • Inform family members of your plan during the storm- If you plan on evacuating, going to a local storm shelter or staying home during the storm, tell your family where you’ll be. If plans change and it’s possible, give them an update.

What to Do During a Storm

  • Listen to orders given by local officials- If you are in an area under a voluntary or mandatory evacuation, make plans to move to a safer location. Officials will also let you know when it is safe to return home.
  • Shelter from high winds- Go to a Federal emergency management agency safe room; international code council 500 storm shelter; or a small, interior, windowless room or hallway on the lowest floor not subject to flooding to shelter during strong winds.
  • If you experience flooding- If you find yourself trapped in a building by flooding, go to the highest level of the building. Avoid climbing into a closed attic; you may become trapped by rising floodwaters.

What to Do After a Storm

  • Listen to authorities for information and special instructions- Watch or listen to the news or visit the pages you bookmarked prior to the storm for more information about storm recovery efforts.
  • Stay away from damaged or wet electrical equipment- Avoid going near electrical equipment that is wet or if you are standing in water. If it is safe to do so, turn off electricity at the breaker or fuse box to prevent electric shock.
  • Avoid wading in floodwaters- Floodwaters can contain dangerous debris. Downed or underground power lines can also electrically charge the water, making it extremely dangerous.
  • Stay at home if it is safe to do so- If you can, avoid leaving your home to survey damage in your neighborhood or surrounding areas. Debris, receding floodwaters, downed trees and power lines may be obstructing the roadways and keep you from reaching your destination safely.
  • Update family on your wellbeing- Once the storm has passed, reach out to family members and let them know how you and your family weathered the storm.

Generator Safety

  • Never backfeed your generator into your home- Backfeeding occurs when you plug your generator into your home. This puts electricity back on the electric grid, which could be harmful or deadly to the linemen working to restore your power. If you are using a  generator, plug in a few appliances or devices at a time instead.
  • Install a transfer switch- If you plan on on using a generator during or after a storm, installing a transfer switch will help protect utility workers performing outage restoration, your generator and your appliances. Transfer switches work by automatically or manually switching your electricity from the power grid to the generator in the event of an outage while keeping the electricity generated from your generator from going back onto the shared grid. 
  • Keep your generator in a well-ventilated, covered space outdoors- When determining the best place to keep your generator when it’s running, always choose a covered area at least 20 feet away from your home. Never run a generator in your home or garage to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning. Carbon monoxide is an odorless gas that can quickly cause death if it builds up. If you feel sick, dizzy or weak while operating a generator, seek fresh air immediately.

Outage Restoration After a Hurricane or Severe Storm

Once a storm has passed through and it is safe for linemen to be outdoors, they will begin assessing damage and restoring your power. Your MidSouth linemen will start at the substations and make their way into the service territory, operating to bring power back to as many members as possible.

Should I report my outage?
If you are able, always try to report your outage by calling 936-825-5100 or by texting OUTAGE to 352-667. This helps us make sure your outage is recorded and power is restored to your home as quickly as possible.

Where can I find updates?
For outage updates, please visit our online outage viewer. The outage viewer shows outages across our service territory, where crews are working and how many meters have been restored. 

Why does my neighbor have power and I don’t?
There could be multiple reasons your neighbor may have power and you don’t. For example, they may have a generator or they may live on a different power line than you do. You may be experiencing an outage related to the line that runs from your transformer into your home. It is always important to report your outage in the case of an isolated event. 

For more information on how MidSouth conducts outage restoration, or for more answers to some of your outage-related questions, listen to this episode of the MidSouth Minute podcast