Power Outages

Be prepared, stay connected, view outages

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No Major Outages

Please check the Outage Map for any known outages. For outages impacting more than 50 members, please check our Facebook page for outage updates.

quickreply Quickly report an outage online

Log in to your SmartHub account and select "Report an Outage."

Log In
phone Report an outage over the phone
  • Mat-Su Valley: call 746-POWR (907-746-7697)
  • Eagle River: call 696-POWR (907-696-7697)

Preparing for a power outage

Extended power outages sometimes occur despite MEA’s best efforts to restore power quickly. In the event of an outage that lasts an hour or longer, you’ll be glad you prepared ahead of time, especially if the outage happens during winter when temperatures can be extreme and daylight is scarce.

Prepare a survival pack. Test equipment periodically and replace items as necessary.

Know how to drain the water supply and water heating systems in your house. Drain these systems when the temperature inside your residence falls below 40 degrees and the power is still off; drain at a warmer temperature if your house has cold spots.

What to do if an outage occurs

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1. Report the outage to MEA
  • In most cases, your phone call will go to MEA’s automated system. When a large outage occurs, there simply aren’t enough people to answer the phones. Using the automated system, we can gather outage reports quickly from our members any time of day. The automated system also allows our dispatchers to call many members back at once to confirm each member’s power is back on. This is important, as we don’t want to send the crews away from your location if we haven’t completed restoring power.
  • For outages larger than 50 members, MEA provides regular outage updates on our Facebook page.
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2. Be Safe

Depending on the time of year, extended outages may require you to temporarily use alternative energy and heat sources. Please do so safely!

  • Generators
    Generators pose serious hazards when not used properly. Make sure you know how to use one safely for backup energy. If you are considering getting a generator, get advice from a professional, such as an electrician. Make sure that the generator you purchase is rated for the power that you think you will need.

    Never wire a building’s electrical system into a generator unless you have a proper switching setup to isolate your home from the grid. If isolation is not ensured, “back feed” through the electric meter and into MEA’s power lines will happen when the generator is brought on line. Linemen working to restore your power can come into contact with your power source and be injured or killed. See Generator Diagrams for more information.
  • Ventilation
    Adequate ventilation is critical. Exhaust from the generator contains carbon monoxide, an odorless, colorless gas that is deadly. Always run the machine outdoors.
  • Extension Cords
    Use caution with extension cords. Always follow the guidelines specified by the generator manufacturer regarding extension cords and appliances. If you must use an extension cord, make sure it is heavy-duty grade, properly grounded and in good condition. Position cords out of the way to prevent tripping hazards, but never cover them with rugs or tape.
Heating

Heating the home using alternative sources is one of the leading causes of home fires. Take these precautions to cut your risk of starting a fire in the home.

  • Never use your stove or oven to heat your home.
  • Never leave alternative heaters unattended—turn off space heaters or extinguish the fireplace before going to bed or leaving home.
  • Keep all flammable materials and potential fuel sources—including but not limited to newspapers, matches, bedding, clothing, carpets and rugs—at least three feet away from heat sources such as space heaters, fireplaces and stoves. Place your space heater (use a model that shuts off automatically if the heater falls over) on a hard, level, nonflammable surface.
  • Keep the fire in your fireplace by using a glass or metal screen large enough to catch sparks and rolling logs. Never leave fireplaces unattended. Be sure to have wood and coal stoves, fireplaces, chimneys and furnaces professionally inspected once a year.
  • Install smoke alarms on every floor of your home. Check them once a month by pressing the test button, and replace batteries as necessary.
  • Have a fire extinguisher easily accessible in every room of your house.
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3. Conserve Energy
  • Keep traffic through your outside doors to a minimum to avoid losing household heat during a winter outage. If possible, gather family members in a central room and close off the rest of the house.
  • Do not open refrigerators or freezers more than necessary. Food will remain frozen in most freezers for at least 24 hours and often for two or more days as long as the freezer isn’t opened.
  • Unplug all appliances and turn your thermostat to its lowest setting until power is restored. Power restoration after an outage can cause damage to sensitive electronic equipment such as TVs and computers. To protect your equipment, MEA recommends you install voltage surge protectors and/or an uninterrupted power supply system (UPS). During an extended outage, some people turn off all the breakers in the house except one going to a lamp that is turned on, to let them know when power is restored.

Survival Pack basics Checklist

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    Matches
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    Candles
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    Lantern
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    Hand-operated can-opener
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    Extra batteries for battery operated equipment
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    Radio (battery-operated)
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    Flashlight
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    Blankets and/or sleeping bags
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    Propane camp stove for cooking and extra propane
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    Non-perishable food that's easy to prepare or ready to eat
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    Water
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    Prescription medications
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    Pet food and medications

Steps for Restoring Power

Unfortunately, there is no magic “reset” button when it comes to power outages. Even with all the advances in technology, there is a lot of skilled manual labor and expertise involved to restore power during an outage. The steps below outline a typical outage response by our MEA crews once an outage has been reported by a member. Please also note that it’s important to report your outage as we may not know your power is out.

1

Dispatch

Assign a lineman crew

If the outage occurs during regular business hours a linemen crew is dispatched to the outage area. If it is after hours, a crew is called in from home.

Gather equipment and materials

Our crews get the right equipment and safety gear to respond to the location of the outage. Some locations require different types of equipment in order to access the area.
2

Travel & Repair

Travel to the outage site

We manage over 4,500 miles of power lines and serve the entire Mat-Su Borough and Eagle River/Chugiak areas.

Make repairs

Depending on the cause of the outage this can be a fairly quick or long process. For instance, if crews must rehang line or replace a downed pole it will likely take more time than removing a tree tangled in the lines.
3

Test & Verify

Re-engergize the lines

This is everyone’s favorite part when line crews can “turn the power back on” and see everyone’s lights come back on.

Make sure the power is holding

Sometimes when lines are reenergized not all members power will come back on. There may be a separate issue or additional problem that was missed during inspection and crews will continue to work until everyone is back on.