Serving area residents for 82 years
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(563)732-2211
Safety

Call 800-728-1242 to report a power outage
Do not use Email to report power outages

The Eastern Iowa REC dispatch center is staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week.  The Cooperative understands that power outages can be disruptive.  We work throughout the year to clear trees, one of the major causes of outages, and to repair and upgrade our poles and facilities.  Despite all our effort, outages do happen.  What should you do if your power goes out?  First, please check your breakers and fuses at your control panel inside your home and also your breaker under the meter outside. 

Then, when you have determined that the problem is outside your home, call us.  During major outages, when call volumes are highest, the Cooperative’s automated call answering service will be used.  The Cooperative’s outage management system uses a telephone number to coordinate the outage report with our member records.  It is important that the Cooperative has your main telephone number on file.  In many cases, this can be your cell phone number.

Dispatchers will then coordinate the power restoration efforts with the goal of restoring power to the greatest number of members as quickly and safely as possible.  This chart shows how the power restoration plan works during a major power outage involving many Cooperative members.

YOU CAN FIND ONLINE OUTAGE INFORMATION BY CLICKING HERE.

ALWAYS REMEMBER TO STAY AWAY FROM DOWNED POWER LINES.  Assume all downed power lines are live.  Stay clear and keep others away.  Never try to remove tree limbs or other debris that has become entangled in power lines. 

Louie the Lightning Bug spreads the message of electrical safety 

What stands more than five feet tall, has four hands, two feet, a pair of antennae and gets children to laugh while learning about electricity?  Many eastern Iowa elementary school students could easily provide the answer--Louie the Lightning Bug. 

Eastern Iowa REC uses Louie the Lightning Bug shows to teach children about electric safety.  The Eastern Iowa REC Louie program consists of a special Louie video and musical review of safety tips.  Each school year, hundreds of students throughout the Cooperative's service area see and hear Louie's safety message.  The program started in 1986.  To schedule a visit by Louie the Lightning Bug, contact JIll Sneddon-Urmie at the Cooperative's Wilton service center 1-800-728-1242 or by email at jill.urmie@easterniowa.com.

Pick up the phone before the shovel

One easy phone call to 811 starts the process to get your underground utility lines marked for free. When you call 811 from anywhere in the country, your call will be routed to your local One Call Center. Local One Call Center operators will ask you for the location of your digging job and route your call to affected utility companies. Your utility companies will then send a professional locator to your location to mark your lines within a few days. Once your underground lines have been marked, you will know the approximate location of your utility lines and can dig safely, because knowing what's below protects you and your family.  Always call 811 before starting any digging project!

Keep safety code in mind when making grain bin plans

On the farm, as with any business, safety is important.  Maintaining proper clearance around electric lines is a key safety element.  When moving or building a grain bin, plan for specific clearances required by the American National Stand-ards Institute (ANSI) and the State of Iowa. Eastern Iowa REC and Central Iowa Power Cooperative can help create a safe environment for everyone working and living near grain handling equipment. 

Overhead power lines should be at least 18 feet above the tops of newly erected grain bins, according to the National Electric Safety Code.  These clearances were established to allow for movement of large equipment in the area.  The code also specifies distances power lines must be from the loading and non-loading sides of a bin. The Cooperative may refuse to provide electric service to any grain bin built near an existing electric line if the bin location does not provide the clearances required by ANSI C2-2007 "National Electric Safety Code," Rule 234f as adopted by the Iowa Utilities Board (IUB).

If you have any questions concerning clearance regulations, please contact an Eastern Iowa REC member service specialist before any new grain bin plans are finalized.  Call, toll free, 1-800-728-1242.

Click here for the diagram showing the specific clearances required by the ANSI and the State of Iowa.

Safe use of portable generators

If you have or are considering purchasing a standby electricity generator, remember that it is vital to follow proper procedures.  If used incorrectly, a standby generator can cause serious harm or even death.  Here are some important things to know.  Generators can produce power to a home's 120/240-volt service.  However, if a generator is not properly installed, the “backfeed” will result in an output of 7,200 volts on the distribution line -- much higher than what it should carry.  As a result, a line crew working on the system would be put in danger.  For everyone's sake -- yours, the Cooperative and its line crews -- generators need to be isolated from the electric power lines.  This means you should connect appliances or other devices directly to the generator with the appropriate-sized cords.  You should also install a double-throw switch on your generator to separate your service from the Cooperative's system.

Generator Safety/Information Flyer

Avoid lightning shock & damage indoors 

  • Unplug appliances well before a storm nears--never during.
  • Stay away from electrical outlets, appliances, computers, power tools and TV sets. Take off headsets and stop playing video games.
  • Avoid water and contact with piping, including sinks, baths and faucets.
  • Do not wash dishes, shower or bathe during a thunderstorm.
  • Avoid washers and dryers since they not only connect with the plumbing and electrical systems, but also contain an electrical path from the outside through the dryer.
  • Do not lie on the concrete floor of a garage as it likely contains wire mesh and avoid concrete walls that may contain metal rebar. 

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Safety Tips
Pick up the phone before the shovel...
Pick up the phone before you pick up a shovel. In many areas, homes are served by underground electric lines. If you’re digging near an underground cable and cut into a line, not only will you probably interrupt service to your home, but you could also receive a serious shock! One call can start the process to ensure your project will be safely completed. Contact Iowa One Call toll free, dial 811 for information to help you dig safely this spring.