LITTLE ROCK -- Chirping birds, blooming flowers and rising temperatures may lift spirits, but a whiff of something more ominous is also in the air: spring storm season.
As the seasons change, wild and woolly weather can pop up with little warning, instantly transforming a sunny spring day to one marked by tornadoes, hail, lightning, severe thunderstorms, flash flooding and high winds.
Extreme, unpredictable weather can also cause power outages and downed power lines. Entergy Arkansas employees plan and train year-round, ready to respond and restore power when severe weather strikes. Our perpetual cycle of planning, preparation and training ensures we are Operation Storm Ready for every weather situation, the utility said in a news release.
"We continually watch the weather and put our plan in action as soon as a severe weather threat emerges," Michael Considine, Entergy Arkansas vice president of customer service, said in the release. "These storms develop quickly and can be deadly. We encourage customers to form a storm-preparedness plan before severe weather appears. Waiting until a storm springs up may be too late."
Prepare for extreme weather in advance by assembling an emergency kit of basic supplies. Make sure your family knows what to do and where to go if disaster strikes. Entergy can help you prepare with these tips on how to make a plan and a kit. Knowing exactly when and where severe weather will occur is unlikely, so consider keeping an emergency kit at home. Also keep one in your vehicle that prepares you for the weather outside, not inside, should you become stranded during an emergency. After stocking up, ensure that you have several ways of getting severe weather warnings:
• Install a smartphone app that will alert you to severe weather in the area or sign up for emergency alerts on your smartphone.
• Have a weather radio with a loud alarm that will wake you when severe weather threatens at night.
• Know how to communicate with Entergy Arkansas if you need help after a storm hits. There are several ways to report outages or downed power lines:
• Download our free app for your smartphone at entergy.com/app.
• Sign up for text alerts by texting REG to 36778 and have your account number and ZIP code handy. The registration pattern is as follows including spaces: REG (account number) (ZIP code). Once registered, text OUT to 36778 to report an outage. You can also report an outage online as a guest.
• Visit the Entergy Storm Center website and our View Outages page.
• Call us at 800-9OUTAGE -- 800-968-8243.
"We prepare for the worst and hope for the best," said Considine. "While we work hard to prevent disruptions, unpredictable and powerful storms can still cause power outages. Being prepared and having everything you need in one location, including a way to notify us, can help you weather the storm with greater peace of mind while we work to safely restore your service."