(SOUTHERN COLORADO) — As Colorado prepares for the oncoming storm that will bring snow, ice, and cold temperatures, Colorado Springs Utilities (Springs Utilities) and Xcel Energy are sharing ways you can report outages and stay safe.

Springs Utilities said they will have electric crews available 24/7 if there are any emergencies, and encouraged anyone who loses power and needs electricity to seek shelter with friends or neighbors.

Springs Utilities also shared important information on reporting if you lose power, and warnings in these cold temperatures:

  • Report downed power lines at (719) 448-4800. Never attempt to remove lines yourself
  • Report and track electric outages using Springs Utilities’ online outage map
  • Do not use ovens, stoves or camping stoves for heat to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning
  • Clear snow and ice from your natural gas meter to keep it running efficiently. Gently brush the snow off with your hands, broom or brush. Do not kick it or hit it with a shovel, as this could damage the meter. 
  • If your mast becomes loose, bent or damaged, contact an electrician for repairs. Do not touch the mast. If an outage occurs, your mast must be in working order before Springs Utilities can safely restore power to your home. 

Similarly, Xcel Energy customers in Pueblo are encouraged to report outages to help with power restoration:

  • Xcel Energy mobile app available on iOS and Android
  • Online at xcelenergy.com/out
  • Call 1-800-895-1999 and follow the prompts—the automated phone reporting system lets customers report outages in less than 60 seconds. Once the cause of the problem is identified, the system or an Xcel Energy representative will provide customers with an estimated restoration time.

Xcel also mentioned a few things to keep in mind when preparing for a storm:

  • Build a home emergency kit.
    • Battery-powered radio or television
    • Flashlights
    • Batteries
    • Back up phone chargers
    • A phone that does not require electricity
    • Non-electric alarm clock
    • Bottled water and nonperishable food
    • Manual can opener
    • First aid kit
    • Extension cords (for partial outages)
    • Manufacturer’s instructions on how to manually open power-operated doors (e.g., garage doors)
  • Heating safety. More than 65,000 home fires are attributed to heating equipment each year in the United States, according to the Electrical Safety Foundation International. When using a space heater
    • Make sure the heater has the label showing it is listed by a recognized testing laboratory, and read the manufacturer’s instructions and warning labels
    • Inspect heaters for cracked or broken plugs and connections; don’t use it if they are frayed, worn or damaged.
    • Never leave a space heater unattended. Turn it off when leaving a room and don’t go to sleep with a space heater on. 
  • Observe food safety. To maintain refrigerator and freezer temperatures, keep doors closed as much as possible. A full freezer will stay at freezing temperatures for approximately two days and a half-full freezer approximately one day.