AEP Ohio Releases Winter Weather Statement

Local News Stories
GAHANNA, Ohio, February 2, 2022 — AEP Ohio crews are at the ready for the upcoming winter storm — and are encouraging the community to be prepared too. 

Snow and ice are currently predicted, which could cause extended power outages across its service territory. More than 1,000 AEP Ohio lineworkers as well as more than 700 AEP Ohio line contractors and tree crews are preparing equipment and supplies to be ready to respond to potential outages caused by storm damage. 

“With the type of weather expected, crews prepare for the worst and hope for the best. Now is the time to prepare your loved ones for the possibility of a power outage and other dangers presented by winter weather,” said Dave Callahan, AEP Ohio emergency preparedness manager. “Our crews will be ready to begin restoration efforts as soon as the weather allows us to safely do so.”

Accumulation of ice on trees is a leading cause of power outages during wintry weather. Often even small amounts of ice can heavily impact power lines due to added weight and causing trees limbs to break.

“Our forestry crews work hard year round to keep trees and branches away from our power lines and equipment,” Callahan said. “But winter weather is unpredictable. The added weight of ice and heavy snow can cause trees to snap and fall into our lines, causing unforeseen damage.” 

How to Prepare
Before the storm hits, make a plan for what you’ll do if there’s an extended power outage. Be sure to charge phones, laptops, portable chargers and other electronic devices that will help you stay connected.  
     
Customers should also prepare an emergency outage kit that includes:

Flashlights and fresh batteries
Battery-powered radios or televisions
Water for drinking
Non-perishable food, including food for animals, and a manual can opener
Important medications     
Manufacturers’ instructions for your generator (if you have one)Instructions for how to manually open your garage door


What to Do If the Lights Go Out
If the winter storm knocks out your power, here are a few tips to stay safe:

Stay away from all sparking equipment and downed lines or anything they may be touching.
Call 911 and AEP Ohio to report hazardous conditions.
Notify AEP Ohio if you’re using a generator – this protects you and our lineworkers as they work to restore power.
Never operate lanterns, heaters or fuel-fired stoves without proper ventilation.
Never burn charcoal indoors. It releases poisonous carbon monoxide.
Never remove debris that’s within 10 feet of a power line.
Unplug major appliances to protect them when power is restored.
Refuel heaters, lamps and generators outside and away from any flames or sparks.
Wipe up spilled fuel immediately. 


Assessing the Damage
After a major storm hits, our crews quickly begin to assess the damage and determine staffing needs once it’s safe to do so — sometimes coordinating crews from other parts of Ohio and other states to help with restoration efforts, depending on the severity of the damage. Assessing the impact of the storm takes time, but it’s an important part of our process to get the power back on as safely and quickly as possible. Read here for more about this process. 

Stay Connected
Customers have several options to receive updates on restoration efforts, including:     
Download the AEP Ohio app to report and track outages: AEPOhio.com/app
Sign up for text alerts to stay informed on outages: AEPOhio/alertsVisit AEPOhio.com/outagemap
Follow AEP Ohio on Facebook and Twitter (Facebook.com/AEPOhio and Twitter.com/AEPOhio) for regular updates
About AEP Ohio
AEP Ohio is based in Gahanna, Ohio, and is a unit of American Electric Power. AEP Ohio provides electricity to 1.5 million customers. News and information about AEP Ohio can be found at AEPOhio.com.

American Electric Power, based in Columbus, Ohio, is focused on building a smarter energy infrastructure and delivering new technologies and custom energy solutions to our customers. AEP’s approximately 16,700 employees operate and maintain the nation’s largest electricity transmission system and more than 224,000 miles of distribution lines to efficiently deliver safe, reliable power to nearly 5.5 million regulated customers in 11 states. AEP also is one of the nation’s largest electricity producers with approximately 30,000 megawatts of diverse generating capacity, including more than 5,500 megawatts of renewable energy. AEP’s family of companies includes utilities AEP Ohio, AEP Texas, Appalachian Power (in Virginia and West Virginia), AEP Appalachian Power (in Tennessee), Indiana Michigan Power, Kentucky Power, Public Service Company of Oklahoma, and Southwestern Electric Power Company (in Arkansas, Louisiana, east Texas and the Texas Panhandle). AEP also owns AEP Energy, AEP Energy Partners, AEP OnSite Partners, and AEP Renewables, which provide innovative competitive energy solutions nationwide. For more information, visit aep.com.
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