In December 2021, LMUD line crews worked day and night on widespread power outages during snowstorms. Photo by LMUD Foreman Adam Hull

What to do in a power outage

It is a quiet, snowy Sunday morning. You just sat down with a warm cup of coffee and settled in to catch up on your social media feed when suddenly, the power goes out. What now?

First, check your circuit breakers. A circuit breaker is an electrical switch designed to protect your home’s electrical system from overloading. If a circuit overloads, the breaker trips off, cutting power to all or part of your home. If you find a tripped breaker, move it from the off position to the on position. If it holds, power will be restored.

Your breaker panel is usually located in a low-traffic area of your home, such as a basement, garage or utility closet. Some homes have outside breaker panels, so it is best to locate your panel and label the circuits before an outage occurs.

If you have checked your breakers and they are in the on position, but you still don’t have power, it is time to call Lassen Municipal Utility District.

You can reach us around the clock at (530) 257-4174. When you call, you will be put through a series of prompts designed to direct your call to the appropriate personnel. You will also be given the option to report the outage through our automated line. If the number you are calling from is listed on your LMUD account, the line will identify the number and ask if you are calling to report an outage at the location associated with your phone number. If the outage is widespread, you may hear a message informing you the outage has been reported, and crews are responding. If automated lines are not your preference, you can speak to a real person who can answer your questions.

Now that you’ve reported your outage, what’s next? LMUD understands updates are important to our customers. Our communications team strives to promptly give as much information as possible in a timely manner. Outage updates are posted on our Facebook page. Make sure to like our page and set your preferences to follow and receive notifications of all posts.

Have you signed up for LMUD outage text alerts? You can do so by texting the letters LMUD to (877) 754-7697. Keep in mind that these are short bursts of information, limited to 140 characters. Detailed information is posted on Facebook.

The best way to know the areas and meters affected by an outage is to view the online outage map at our Outage Center webpage. You can find the map by clicking on the Outage Center button or the outage map link at the top of the homepage.

Once power has been restored, we will send a final text alert. At that point, if you are still without power, please call us at (530) 257-4174. Rest assured, no matter when the power goes out, it is LMUD’s goal to get the lights back on as safely and quickly as possible.

More Outage Tips

  • Never go near a downed power line. Even if the power is out, a downed line can still conduct electricity.
  • Do not report outages via Facebook. Facebook communications are meant for information only. Only report outages to the customer service line.
  • Please do not respond to LMUD text messages. Text messages are oneway communications. Responses to a text asking for more information or to report an outage are not answered.
  • Be ready! You can find outage preparedness tips on the Ready Website.
  • Be patient. Extreme weather can add to the time it takes for LMUD crews to respond to a call. Safety is always our priority.

The Steps to Restoring Power
When a major outage occurs, our crews restore service to the greatest number of people in the shortest time possible until everyone has power.

  1. High-Voltage Transmission Lines

These lines carry large amounts of electricity. They rarely fail but must be repaired first.

  1. Distribution Substations

Crews inspect substations, which can serve hundreds or thousands of people.

  1. Main Distribution Lines

Main lines serve essential facilities, such as hospitals and large communities.

  1. Homes and Businesses

After main line repairs are complete, we repair lines that serve individual homes and businesses.