ORLANDO, Fla. – When a hurricane or other strong storm blows through Central Florida, it's not uncommon to see power outages.
Sometimes, the outages are short-lived. Other times, they can last for days or even weeks, depending on how much damage the storm left in its path and the impact it had on power lines.
When your power is out, it can seem like time is crawling as you continue checking whether power has been restored. You may even have problems reporting an outage right away because it can be hard to get through to your utility provider when so many others are also calling in to report the same issue where they live.
After seeing the struggles that come with reporting outages and how difficult it can be to communicate back and forth while workers try to get customers’ power restored, the Orlando Utilities Commission is making it easier by allowing customers to receive alerts straight to their phones.
Use the following steps, courtesy of OUC, to register for the company's alerts program:
- Via text: Text REG to 69682 (myOUC) and reply to the texts from OUC to complete the registration process and subscribe to Alerts. Be sure to have your Account Number and the Zip Code of your mailing address available. You can find your Account Number on your bill. If you are texting from a mobile device associated with the primary phone number on your account, you may not need your Account Number.
- Via myOUC: Log into your myOUC account. On the Account Summary page click the Set Preferences link in the Alert Preferences module. On the Manage Preferences page set your preferences in the provided interface.
In addition to receiving alerts from OUC, you can also notify the company of a power outage by sending a simple text message. To report an outage near you, just text OUT to 69682. Orlando and Orange County residents can report outages by calling 407-423-9018. St. Cloud and Osceola County residents can report them by calling 407-957-7373.
According to Tim Trudell, a spokesman for OUC, the proactive alert system will then give you real-time estimates on when your power will be restored. That way, you can stop watching the clock.
Trudell said recent developments in technology have allowed the company to get more precise meter readings to share valuable information with customers.
"Only recently has the technology become so detailed that we can look at each individual meter, ping a meter and we get all that information and we relay that through our proactive alerts that can go to our customer's cellphone," Trudell said.
He said it’s all part of allowing customers to choose the way they want to receive the company’s messages.
To see if there is a reported outage in your area, visit OUC's outage map.
Don't use OUC? View outage maps for and find out how to report an outage to the following companies:
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