Texas freeze: Are you prepared for power outages? What to do in the Fort Worth region

·4 min read

With more freezing weather this week, including winter storm warnings for parts of Texas and even a few flurries in North Texas, it’s wise to prepare for the worst.

For Dallas-Fort Worth, “there is a low potential for some light wintry rain/snow mix along and near the Red River late Wednesday afternoon and Wednesday night,” the National Weather Service said. “Precipitation amounts are expected to be low at this time; therefore, no impacts are expected.”

We’re only a few weeks away from the anniversary of the February deep freeze winter storm, when widespread power outages happened across the state.

If you lose power, here’s what you should do to report the outage and to monitor power outages across the state. Plus, read on for some tips on dealing with a power outage.

For a guide on how to prepare for a winter storm, click here. Find a statewide power outage map here.

The Trinity River is mostly frozen after a snow storm Monday, Feb. 15, 2021, in Fort Worth.
The Trinity River is mostly frozen after a snow storm Monday, Feb. 15, 2021, in Fort Worth.

What to do before reporting a power outage

Safely check your breakers to see whether any have tripped. This may help you avoid a fee if you report an outage.

Check to see if your neighbors’ electricity is out, if it’s safe to do so.

If the problem isn’t in your home, you’ll want to contact your local Transmission and Distribution Utility. Oncor Electric Delivery manages most North Texas power outages, with Texas-New Mexico Power Co. serving areas like Lewisville.

Don’t know your TDU? Check out the map below.

Here’s which TDU serves each area in Texas.
Here’s which TDU serves each area in Texas.

How to report a power outage to Oncor Electric Delivery

You can report a power outage or check the status of a previously reported power outage via Oncor’s online reporting tool. You can also call 888-313-4747. If you signed up for Oncor Alerts, text OUT to 66267 (ONCOR).

How to monitor Oncor power outages

On Oncor’s website, you’ll find a map of area outages. There, you can read how many people are affected and when power will be restored. You’ll also be able to see how many outages there are and how many people are affected.

To get outage alerts via email, text and/or voice messages, create an account.

Snow covers the streets after a storm Monday, Feb. 15, 2021, in Fort Worth. Hard freeze and wind chill warnings were in effect.
Snow covers the streets after a storm Monday, Feb. 15, 2021, in Fort Worth. Hard freeze and wind chill warnings were in effect.

How to report a power outage to Texas-New Mexico Power Company

To report an outage to Texas-New Mexico, call 888-866-7456. Select option 1.

Report your outage in the automated system (quicker) or wait for an agent. The automated system will provide updates on outages while you’re waiting for an agent.

Most outages are restored within two hours.

How to monitor Texas-New Mexico power outages

If you reported a new outage on the phone, wait at least 30 minutes before calling back for updates. They’ll provide an estimate for when power will be restored.

You can check the status of power outages in your area by visiting TNMP’s power outage map.

How to deal with a power outage

Before

  • Have flashlights and electric lanterns in advance

  • Sign up for a power outage alert system

  • Ensure you have fresh batteries for flashlights and hand-held radios

  • Charge phones, tablets, rechargeable lanterns, hand-held video games, etc.

  • Stock up on bottled water and non-perishable food /snacks

  • Have a backup power source if anyone in your home depends on powered medical equipment

  • Print out the phone number to call in case of outages and keep it in a readily available location, and save it in your phone

  • You also may want to consider discussing with your children what a power outage means

  • Install smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms

During

  • Unplug all your devices until the outage is over to avoid damage from electrical surges

  • Report the outage

  • Seal openings around windows and doors for better insulation

  • Put on several layers of clothing to warm up and get cozy under a blanket

  • If it’s too cold, gather in a single room with fewer windows. Check with neighbors and local officials about warm locations open near you

  • Try to find an electrical source for power-dependent medical devices

  • If you have a portable generator, run it outside and away from any buildings

  • Keep your freezer and refrigerator closed

  • Don’t use a gas stove or oven for heating

  • Keep kerosene and space heaters away from flammable objects

After

  • Throw out any food that has been exposed to temperatures 40 degrees or higher for two hours or more

  • If the power is out for more than a day, discard any medication that should be refrigerated

  • Stay far away from any downed power lines and equipment

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting