Outage Center Frequently Asked Questions

In the event of a major utility outage, Jackson Energy Authority personnel are focusing all attention on the process of getting power restored as quickly and safely as possible. Before calling a customer service representative, please review the information below for answers to your outage questions.

If I see a downed power line, what do I do?

If you see drooping or downed lines, do not get near the lines or anything that is in contact with the lines such as limbs. Always assume that the lines are LIVE and stay away from the area. Report the downed lines by calling 731-422-7500.

Can customer service tell me when my power will be restored?

In many cases, we may not be able to give you an estimated time.  Restoring power after a major storm is a complex process that can affect each customer differently and restoration time depends on the situation and factors that caused the outage. In some cases, our emergency crews may have to wait until the more imminent danger of the storm has passed before beginning restoration work.

Why is my electricity off?

In the event of a storm, your power could be out due to lightning, wind, ice, or trees and limbs that may have damaged power lines, including the service line to your home and/or other utility equipment. Learn more about the Causes Of Outages.

A Jackson Energy Authority utility truck drove by my house. Are they restoring power in my area?

Following a storm, our crews first assess the damage and look for the cause of the outage before electric service can be restored. In some cases, the company vehicle you see may be a crewmember responsible for maintenance to other areas of our infrastructure such as telecom, gas, water or wastewater. Learn more about the Restoration Process.

How does Jackson Energy Authority decide which customers to restore first and mobilize crews during a major outage?

In the event of a widespread power outage, Jackson Energy Authority’s restoration plan is put into place immediately – with safety being a top priority. We assess the situation to make sure there are no life-threatening conditions such as live downed lines. We work to restore transmission lines, substations, and critical system loads such as hospitals, fire, police and other services vital to public welfare. Then we work our way across the system, first repairing problems serving larger groups of the customer than to smaller groups. Learn more about the Restoration Process.

In the event of an outage and possible delayed restoration, what do I need to do if I have life-sustaining medical equipment in my home that requires electricity?

Preparedness is key. If you have a piece of life-sustaining medical equipment in your home, have a back-up plan in place in the event of a utility outage. In many cases, we may not be able to give an estimated time for when power will be restored, so plan ahead. It is best to have a gas-powered generator and conduct routine maintenance to ensure it is ready to go when needed. If a breathing machine or constant supply of oxygen is your medical need, always keep spare, portable oxygen tanks on hand. There are many other alternatives, but being prepared in the case of a power outage is the best way to prevent a medical emergency from happening. Be sure to know what you should pack in an Emergency Preparedness Kit.

Where can I learn more about when my power will be restored?

Continue to check local media sources, the Jackson Energy Authority mobile app and social media pages and the Outage Center for outage updates. The electric outage map on this page is updated every 10 minutes. However, if the outage in your area is not displayed on the map or in the event of an emergency, please call 731-422-7500.  This site is mobile-friendly, so you can access outage tools and tips with a battery-operated web device anytime, anywhere.

My neighbors have power, but I don’t. What do I need to do?

Be sure and report your outage to Jackson Energy Authority if you see that your neighbor’s lights are on but your lights are still off. There may be trouble on just your section of the power line or the outage may be isolated to one fuse or transformer. It is also possible that the problem may be on the service line to your home. Customers who have overhead distribution lines serving their homes should make sure there is no damage to the weatherhead – the roof-mounted pole-like structure where the electrical service enters their home or the meter base.

What do I need to do if I have damage to my electrical equipment?

The electrical equipment that serves your home consists of the feeder lines, weatherhead, conduit, and meter base. If the electrical equipment that serves your home or business is damaged, a licensed electrician must complete certain repairs before power can be safely restored. Once the necessary repairs have been made and the work has passed inspection, the Jackson Energy Authority can safely restore power.

If my power is out, what about the food in my refrigerator or freezer?

For the operation and maintenance of your refrigerator or freezer, refer to the appliance owner’s manual for more information. To help keep foods from perishing to quickly, keep the refrigerator or freezer doors closed. A refrigerator can keep its temperature for 4 hours and a full freezer can keep its temperature for 48 hours if the doors remain closed. Foods in the freezer can be grouped together to help the food stay colder longer. If the power will be out for an extended period of time, have small coolers on hand and know where to purchase dry ice in the event you need to repack your food. For more detailed information on food safety, click here.

Following a major storm-related event, what if I smell the rotten egg odor of natural gas?

Be prepared before a major event occurs - make sure you can locate your gas shutoff valve and turn off your gas on the mainline and on individual appliances. However, if you smell gas or suspect a leak, GET OUT of the home or building immediately, MOVE AWAY from the affected area upwind of the leak, SAFELY CALL JEA at 731-422-7500 or 911. For more information about gas leaks and the smell of gas visit Smell Gas?.

Will my telephone still work if the power is out?

If your power is out and you have landline telephone service with Jackson Energy Authority, your phone will work for a limited time only until power is restored. EPlus Broadband Telephone service includes a battery backup installed by Jackson Energy Authority in the equipment box that terminates the fiber network. The battery backup enables your telephone service for E911 calls to function during a power outage for approximately eight hours. In the event of an outage, limit unnecessary phone calls to preserve battery life. For more information about the telephone service battery backup, click here.

What do I do if the water system has been compromised?

If the water distribution system has been compromised and presents a threat to the community, Jackson Energy Authority will issue a Boil Water Notice to all customers in the affected area. This notice will remain in place until water service can be restored. Be sure you follow the Emergency Disinfection guidelines of the EPA.