NEC Winter Storm Preparation

The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) has issued an Operating Condition Notice (OCN) for extreme cold weather expected in the ERCOT region Thursday, Feb. 11 through Monday, Feb. 15. During this time, temperatures are expected to be at or below freezing, and precipitation has not been ruled out.

Prior to a storm:
Members who are on life support systems or other medical equipment that requires electricity, are encouraged to make alternate arrangements in case of extended power outages.

If you have alternative heating sources, such as fireplaces, wood- or coal-burning stoves, or space heaters, be sure they are clean and in working order.

NEC also recommends customers prepare an emergency outage kit with items like flashlights, batteries, radios, candles, matches, drinking water, camp stoves, sleeping bags and non-perishable food items.

During and after a severe storm: 

  • All power lines should be considered energized and dangerous. Although a downed line may look harmless, it could be carrying electricity. Don’t touch anything in contact with the line, such as trees, fences or puddles of water. Because of the likelihood that the storm will cause many lines to fall, customers are asked to keep their children and pets inside during and after the storm.
  • Bring your companion animals indoors. – Ensure that you have supplies for clean up for your companion animals, particularly if they are used to eliminating outdoors (large plastic bags, paper towels, and extra cat litter).
  • Make sure your home is properly insulated. Caulk and weather-strip doors and windowsills to keep cold air out.
  • Unplug or turn off washers, dryers and other major appliances and electronic equipment like televisions, VCRs and computers. Turn them on one at a time when power is restored.
  • If you use a portable generator, DO NOT plug the generator into your circuit box. Portable generators “back-feed” electricity up the line and risk the lives of repair workers and the public. Plug appliances directly into the generator.  Also, always follow the manufacturer’s instructions.  Most, if not all, require that backup generators be located outside the home and away from open windows in order to prevent the possibility of carbon monoxide poisoning.
  • Keep refrigerator and freezer doors closed as much as possible to keep cold air inside. Check out sources of ice or dry ice, if needed. Food should stay frozen for 36 to 48 hours in a fully loaded freezer, 24 hours in a half-full freezer – if you keep the door closed.
  • Be extremely careful when using any alternate forms of heating, cooling, cooking and lighting.
  • Stay tuned to local news media for updates on the storm situation and recovery progress. Updates also will be posted on and NEC Co-op Energy Facebook.

Reporting an Outage:

  • Contact your transmission and distribution provider to report an outage.