To view current outage information, click here.
Reporting a power outage
PPCS does everything it can to avoid interruptions in your electric service. Unfortunately, sometimes there are situations beyond our control that cause power outages—severe weather such as lightning storms, freezing rain or snow; vehicle accidents; unforeseen equipment failures; tree branches touching power lines; and small animals or birds, to name a few.
If your power goes out or if you are aware of an emergency situation, you can call us 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Before calling to report an outage:
- Check fuses or circuit breakers to make sure the problem is not with your electrical equipment.
- Check with your neighbors to see if they have service.
- Note possible causes, such as sparks, a loud noise, trees or limbs on the power lines, etc. This will help PPCS identify the source of the power outage.
- Be ready to provide the telephone number, account number, name and address for the account.
The outage reporting number will connect you directly with our dispatch center, the Cooperative Response Center (CRC) based in Austin, Minn. The CRC uses advanced telecommunications technology to quickly process calls and dispatch our line crews. Since their system can identify the caller either by phone number or account number, it’s important that you have this information available for the location that is without power. This information can be found on your electric bill as shown on the example to the right.
How your call is handled
When you report a power outage, initially you will hear a recorded greeting along with a possible announcement about other areas that are experiencing power outages. Then you will be transferred to a customer service representative (CSR) or forwarded to an automated power outage notification system if a representative is not available. Within the automated system, you will hear a series of recordings directing you to press certain numbers on your telephone keypad to complete your outage call automatically or to report an emergency life threatening situation to a CSR. If the telephone number for your account is not listed in our member database and you are unable to provide the account number for the location without power, the CRC will not be able to record an outage call within the automated system. At that point, you will either wait to speak with the next available CSR or, in extreme high call volume situations, be asked to call back later.
Important Reminder: If your telephone number has changed recently or if you’re a new member and didn’t have a telephone number at the time you signed up for service, please contact PPCS with your current telephone number. This information is critical in identifying your account information and location during power outage or emergency situations.
How we respond
Restoring power after a major outage is a big job that involves much more than simply throwing a switch or removing a tree from a line. In any outage, the first priority is to get the greatest number of cooperative members back on line as quickly as possible. That’s why electric cooperatives follow a sequence of repairs that restores power to large groups of consumers before tackling smaller groups and individual consumers. Use our Power Outage Checklist to make sure you are prepared in the event of an outage.
Special needs members
Notify PPCS immediately if you or a family member uses life support equipment. PPCS will attempt to notify any member whose special needs are known in cases of a planned power outage. Contact us at 715-273-4355, 800-924-2133 or send us an e-mail.
This does not place that person on a priority restoration list. It allows PPCS to help you make more informed decisions about whether or not to relocate the person based on PPCS’ estimated restoration time. Remember, it’s important to understand that members with special needs should have a plan to provide for their emergency needs should an extended power outage occur. Depending on the cause of the outage, there is no guarantee that PPCS can restore power to them faster than to our other members.