While our dispatchers make every effort to answer each call, it is not always possible - especially during large or wide-spread outages when we receive thousands of calls. That’s when our automated system is put to work. With over 20 incoming lines, the outage management system is capable of processing several calls per hour. Depending on the outage and the volume of calls we receive, the automated system provides you with information regarding the status of your outage, as well as an estimated restoration time, when that is known.
If your vehicle comes in contact with a power line while you are still in the vehicle, the electric safety foundation advises you to stay in your vehicle and call 911. Always assume any downed power line is still energized.
Before calling to report an outage: Check your home's breaker panel (and any outdoor disconnects if you are familiar with where they are) to make sure the outage is not due to a tripped breaker. Call your neighbors to see if their power is off. This will help you determine if the problem exists within your home, or on Sioux Valley Energy lines.
Sioux Valley Energy uses a safe and efficient process in getting your power back on. We give top priority to any situation that has live, downed wires or poses a threat to public safety. Typically, outages are restored in the following order:
- Transmission lines from power plants to substations.
- Main distribution/feeder lines from substations to communities.
- Tap lines from feeders into neighborhoods.
- Service lines to individual homes and businesses.
If you see a Sioux Valley Energy truck pass by without stopping, it is because work must first be performed at a nearby location before electric service can be restored to you and your neighbors. Following the outage restoration process ensures all customers have their power restored as quickly and safely as possible.
It depends upon the cause of the outage. Remember to check and make sure your power is not out because of an electrical problem inside your home, such as a tripped breaker. If your neighbor has electricity and you do not, more than likely, they are located on a different circuit than the circuit your home is on, or in some cases may even receive power from a different company.
At Sioux Valley Energy, members with special medical equipment requirements have an outage priority alert placed on their account. We attempt to contact members with this outage alert prior to interrupting power for any planned outages.
In order to be placed on Sioux Valley Energy’s Medical Necessity list, a Certification of Special Medical Needs document must be completed and certified by a medical doctor confirming that medical equipment in use at this service address requires electricity to sustain life. Many health care providers will provide you with their own document which will be accepted as well.
However, during an unexpected outage, members who have medically necessary equipment do not necessarily have their power restored first. During an outage, we restore power to the largest block of members first. This strategy provides the highest probability that members with medically necessary equipment are restored quickly. It is always a good idea to be prepared with a generator or power-pack backup if power is medically necessary.
Members with a medical necessity status are still subject to disconnection for non-payment.
Consider all fallen wires to be energized, regardless of whether or not they appear to be safe. Do not drive over them. Report the fallen power line to your cooperative immediately. If there is a fire or other sparks, call 911. Make sure your children, pets and neighbors stay away from the power line and any objects it may be touching.
You may want to consider creating an outage preparation kit that includes a portable radio, batteries, corded phone and a flashlight. Store this kit in a designated place so it is easy to find.