Let's Prepare! (Winter Preparedness)
We Are Prepared and We Want You to Be Prepared Too!
We believe in year-round Reliability! We want our community to know what we did to prepare for extreme weather. We made improvements in three key areas: weatherization, infrastructure, and communications.
Prepare for winter weather before temperatures drop
- Don’t wait for an emergency or power outage, make a family emergency plan now. If you have medical equipment that requires electricity or medicines that need refrigeration, check with your doctor when making your plan. You can find plan ideas at ready.gov/plan.
- Add/Update Emergency Contact Information through CPS Energy’s Manage My Account (MMA) portal, or by calling Customer Service at 210-353-2222.
- Also register through MMA to receive energy alerts from CPS Energy. Find out more by visiting: cpsenergy.com/alerts.
- Follow CPS Energy on social media: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn. Also, look for our posts on Nextdoor.
- Sign up for local alerts through the City of San Antonio: Stay Informed: Get Alerts.
- Create an emergency kit for your family. Be sure to include flashlights, water, and canned and dried foods that don’t require refrigeration in your emergency kit. Ready.gov/kit is a good source for emergency kit information and supply lists.
- Locate your electrical breaker box and main breaker switch(es). Watch our "Check Your Breakers" video at cpsenergy.com/outagecenter.
- Locate your gas and water shutoff valves and know how to use them.
- Fully charge all electronic devices and devices' battery chargers. Be sure you have a car charger for your cell phone.
- Avoid using a generator during power outages unless you are sure it was installed safely and correctly. Find generator safety tips at cpsenergy.com/generatorsafety.
- Review your property insurance and have insurance and other critical documents stored in a safe, accessible location.
- Have account numbers and important contact information available.
- Learn more about City of San Antonio & Bexar County Emergency Management..
During Winter Weather
- Never use a generator, camp stove, charcoal grill, gasoline heater, or propane heater indoors. These items can start accidental fires, cause electric shock, and cause deadly carbon monoxide poisoning.
- If cold is extreme, go to a designated community shelter if you can safely do so. Stay indoors and off the roads when possible.
- Be extra cautious when outdoors in cold weather. Downed power lines can be hidden by snow, trees, or other debris. Always assume a downed power line is live. If you see a downed power line, stay away and call us immediately at 210-353-4357 (HELP).
- Monitor available communication channels for emergency communications.
- Conserve energy if requested.
- Use towels to block drafts around doors and windows.
- Use the online CPS Energy Outage Center to track power outage details, report an outage, and view outage tips. It is located at cpsenergy.com/outagecenter. You can also report outages by calling 210-353-HELP (4357).
- If your neighbors have power and you don’t, check your breakers.
- Unplug unnecessary electric appliances and electronics. Use surge protectors to protect electronic equipment and small appliances that must remain plugged in.
- If your power goes out, turn off your heating unit. Once power is restored, wait a few minutes before restarting the heater.
- After a power outage has been restored, wait a few minutes before using your heater or large appliances.
- Keep freezers and refrigerators closed when your power is out.
- During an outage, close off unneeded rooms to consolidate and retain heat.
- Stay warm by dressing in layers of loose-fitting clothing instead of a single heavy layer.
- If you have multiple mobile phones in the household, keep one phone on for emergency updates and turn the others off to preserve battery life.
- Conserve power on your mobile phone in case of emergency. Some battery-saving tips include: turning down the screen light, turning off Bluetooth and closing unused applications.
After Winter Weather
- Continue to monitor communication channels for current news and alerts.
- Check your home for damage to ensure your location is safe.
- Only drive if necessary, to keep the roads clear for emergency personnel and restoration crews.
- Review your family emergency plan to determine what you can do better next time.
- Restock necessary supplies used during the winter season.
Additional tips and actions to keep you and your family safe
- Install working smoke alarms in every bedroom, outside each sleeping area, and on every level
- Install carbon monoxide alarms in a central location outside sleeping areas
- Test smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors monthly
- Replace batteries in smoke alarms yearly on a routine schedule whether needed or not
- Never use the kitchen stove/oven as a space heater
- Have your central heating system inspected annually by a licensed professional
- Keep a dry chemical fire extinguisher in the kitchen
- Check your natural gas appliances - a yellow or orange flame may indicate a problem and should be checked by a qualified technician
- Keep flammable liquids and spray cans at least three feet from heating equipment
- Turn off portable space heaters every time you leave the room and before you go to bed
- Never place anything on top of a space heater
- Purchase heaters with a tip switch, which turns the heater off if it is knocked over
- When using a gas space heater, leave a window open a couple of inches for proper ventilation
- If using a generator, please visit our tips on Generator Safety
- Refrigerated or frozen foods may not be safe to eat after the loss of power. Follow the preparation and safety steps here to keep your food safe.
- For more information, please visit Safety & Emergency Preparedness
Other Useful Information
What to do if your power is out:
- Keep a flashlight and a battery-powered radio nearby
- Report outages to (210) 353-4357 (HELP) or call toll-free at 1-800 870-1006 in rural areas; if you have a smart meter, there's no need to call because the meter will alert us about the outage
- View our Power Outage page for more information related to outages in your area
What to do if you have a natural gas leak:
- If you or your family smell something similar to rotten eggs, you could have a natural gas leak
- Do not use any electrical or battery-powered item, do not switch lights on or off, do not light a match, or use a cell phone - any of these items could send a spark igniting the gas
- Leave your home immediately
- Call 911 and CPS Energy at (210) 353-4357 (HELP)
How to Track Electricity Demand:
- View daily peak demand forecast, current load, and available generation at http://www.ercot.com.
- Follow ERCOT on Twitter (@ERCOT_ISO) and Facebook (Electric Reliability Council of Texas).
- Sign up for the ERCOT mobile app (available for download at the Apple App Store and Google Play).
- Subscribe to the Emergency Alerts list on http://lists.ercot.com.