View and report electric outages online or report them by texting OUT to "MyJEA" (69532).
Hurricanes and tropical storms generally can be tracked days ahead of impact, providing ample time to prepare. However, these storms can quickly change direction, speed, and intensity. Make a plan to protect the people and things you value.
If a major storm causes an outage that affects your home or business, we will respond as soon as possible to restore your services. Please become familiar with the Emergency Preparedness Guide, published by the Duval County Emergency Management Division.
Make sure we have your latest phone number (cellphone and land line) as well as an email address on file, as we’ll be communicating with customers through these channels.
Beginning in October 2013, JEA initiated a project to invest $17 million per year for three years to harden our electric system to better withstand impending hurricanes and tornadoes. The video below illustrates the storm hardening project which included inspecting 14,000 utility poles and clearing vegetation from 1,200 miles of power lines.
We also believe in the power of community. That’s why we have mutual aid agreements with utilities in Florida and Georgia to help work together to restore power after damaging storms.
We encourage you to take steps now to ensure you and your family are prepared should a hurricane or other natural disaster strike our community. Remember that you can always get get storm and hurricane updates on social media. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter now!
JEA does not restore power to certain customers before others, no matter their dependence on life-sustaining medical devices. This is why we urge customers with such devices to consider sitting the storm out at a shelter. Duval County residents with medical conditions requiring the use of a
Special Medical Needs Shelter during an emergency evacuation should register every year with the Emergency Preparedness Division.
Special Needs Shelter Registration Forms
Call COJ at (904) 630-2489
Jacksonville and the surrounding areas experienced outages to the power grid due to trees-related damage during Hurricane Matthew. Proper tree care and routine trimming can greatly reduce existing tree defects and liabilities by improving tree structure and health. Local tree care specialists and arborists can help identify risks and minimize damage before the storm strikes. Learn more at
Tree Damage and Debris Removal
Check to see if your home is vulnerable to hurricane tidal surge flooding. The City of Jacksonville's storm surge map gives you a general indication of the extent of flooding that might be experienced from various hurricane categories.
Storm Surge Zones and Evacuation Routes
For more tips, follow the City of Jacksonville's recommendations for what you should have in your Emergency Supply Kit.
Emergency Supply Kit List
Create an individualized plan for your family or business, no matter what the circumstances. The Florida Division of Emergency Management provides a step-by-step process to ensure you have all of your bases covered.
Create Your Own Disaster Plan
JEA has a comprehensive, detailed plan for responding to a hurricane that assigns responsibilities to each JEA employee. Even office workers will be out in the field supporting those repair crews. They also may serve as guides to out-of-town repair crews, using chain saws to remove debris from JEA facilities, or serving meals to restoration crews.
JEA has agreements and contracts with other electric utilities, food vending companies, fuel suppliers, tree-cutting services and other vendors to assist and support the restoration effort. JEA has also formed alliances with other regional utilities when we need extra equipment and personnel to help us restore services as quickly and safely as possible. In return, we support their restoration efforts if called upon to do so. However, we will not send crews to another area if we are experiencing major loss of service due to a storm.
We live in a mandatory evacuation zone. Do we need to turn off the power at the circuit breaker before evacuating?
This is an individual decision to be made by each resident. Some emergency management professionals recommend unplugging appliances and/or turning off power at the circuit breaker before evacuating in order to reduce the risk of fire or electrical hazards related to flooding. Homeowners should keep in mind, however, that any food left in the refrigerator or freezer will spoil, and some alarm systems and sump pumps may not work if the power remains off for an extended period.
For those who choose to leave the power on, experts recommend turning the refrigerator and freezer up to their highest settings to reduce the risk of food spoilage should the power go out.
Safety experts do recommend that upon returning home after evacuating, homeowners turn off the electricity at the circuit breaker prior to entering to avoid any possible electrical hazards due to flooding. Enter with caution, avoid touching any electrical equipment and seek professional help if there is any sign of flooding or potential electrical danger.
As long as safety permits, we will continue trying to keep power on for all customers by making repairs to the system as needed. However, once winds exceed 40 miles per hour, it is no longer safe to use equipment like bucket trucks. At that point, JEA will order crews to shelter until the brunt of the storm passes. Crews will return to work as soon as they can safely do so.
When our community experiences a major weather event such as a hurricane, we will likely have widespread outages with lots of damage to trees and property. When winds reach 40 mph, our crews will no longer be able to work in the field to restore power and will have to move to safety until the storm passes. One of the first steps in the restoration process after the storm is to conduct an assessment of the damages to the entire electric system. That usually happens over the first 24 to 48 hours. During that time, if you are without power, generally you do not need to call and let us know. If we know the electric circuit you are connected to, and that circuit is out, then we know you are out. Once the assessment is done, we will follow our repair plan to get the most customers back on as quickly as possible.
Learn About the Restoration Process
JEA maintains a comprehensive emergency plan that utilizes our highly skilled workforce, and many additional resources, to restore electric, water and sewer service.
In the case of a major outage, it may be days or even weeks before all power is restored. However, JEA has mutual aid agreements in place with other electric utilities around the southeast, and private companies that perform utility construction and tree clearing. These extra crews would provide assistance to help restore power as quickly and safely as possible.
Learn About Mutual Aid Agreements
JEA crews worked around the clock to restore power after Hurricane Matthew.
Please call 911 immediately to report a downed electric line. Stay away from all downed power lines because they may be energized. If you get close enough to an energized power line you can be electrocuted - even without actually touching the wire. The City of Jacksonville's Department of Public Works is responsible for removing trees, limbs and other debris from the roadways. To report this, contact COJ at (904) 630-2489.
Consult a private electrician to determine if it is safe to restore power to your home. If rising waters approached your home, but just missed coming inside, you may need to have an air conditioning contractor check your heating and cooling system. The outdoor unit of the air conditioner typically sits on the ground, lower than the home, so rising water may have gotten into the electrical connections and wiring of the compressor unit control panel.
Hurricanes are considered an act of nature, therefore JEA is not responsible for spoilage. JEA encourages customers to buy canned goods, not perishable items, and keep food stored in freezers to a minimum during hurricane season.
According to the American Red Cross, food can stay fresh in the refrigerator for up to two days without electricity, and even longer in the freezer. However, they also recommend using the food in the refrigerator first as the frozen food will be safe longer. Freezing and storing water in clean containers to leave in the refrigerator before the storm hits can also help your food stay cool. It's best to have plenty of non-perishable food on hand to get you through post-hurricane recovery. Of course, don't open the refrigerator/freezer door any more than necessary.
If your power is on, JEA encourages you to keep your front porch/flood light on - day and night - which will help our assessment teams further focus their attention on homes and facilities where power still needs to be restored.
The Florida Department of Environmental Protection, Florida Department of Health, City of Jacksonville, and JEA advise residents in areas affected by storms to take appropriate precautions.
If standing water is in the area:
Under normal circumstances, JEA customers are billed based on their actual usage as recorded by their home electric, water and/or irrigation meters.
Following major storms or other emergencies, however, JEA may occasionally need to reassign meter readers to assist with power restoration. During these times, if customers’ meters cannot be read on schedule, JEA will follow standard industry practice and issue an estimated bill based on the household’s historical usage data.
On those rare occasions when JEA must issue estimated bills, we compare a customer’s usage during the same month last year, then factor in the number of days in the current billing cycle (which varies due to weekends and holidays). If a customer has not been at the address for one year, charges are compared to the previous month.
Thousands of people relied on portable generators after Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Unfortunately, misuse of portable generators killed at least five people and made dozens of others seriously ill. Follow these safety rules when operating your generator:
The recent destruction of Hurricane Matthew was a stark reminder of how powerful storms can be and the damage they can cause. Northeast Florida has been fortunate to have avoided such large storms over the years, but every year the dice are rolled again and we all cross our fingers that our luck will hold out.
Although we have no control over the storms themselves, we can control how prepared we are and how we deal with the damage. If a Category 3 -- or larger -- hurricane hits Northeast Florida, you could be out of power for several weeks. Possibly longer. Have you considered the impact to your business if power is out for a long period of time? If not, making that part of your business’s emergency plans is critical. Consider performing a business risk assessment to determine the level of risk to your business. You may realize it’s time to acquire a standby power system to feed your critical loads during an outage.
If you decide to buy one, spend a little time designing the system. A properly designed system can save money and ensure the generator can provide the power and energy you need when you really need it. Generator under sizing is a very common mistake. Don’t just buy and install something that “should” work. Take a close look at the loads you’ll need to run and the requirements they have. Good questions to answer include: What starting currents does the equipment have and can the generator handle them? How critical are the loads? What type of transfer switch system will you need? Do you need to run the whole facility or just some specific, critical loads?
Because utility power is very reliable, you may design your system to just get by during brief outages. During a major natural disaster you probably won’t be able to operate normally anyway because the community around you will be in disorder. So your power system may only be needed to operate critical functions until things improve. This will reduce the size and cost of the system you’ll need. Do some homework and work closely with an Electrical Contractor on the design of your system.
You also should consider what type of fuel the generator will use, how much fuel it requires and how that fuel will be stored. Fuel type and capacity is very important aspect of design and operation. You will have to choose between gasoline, diesel, propane and natural gas, each of which has its advantages and disadvantages. Once you choose a fuel source, run some calculations on how much you’ll need. Generators can gobble up a lot of fuel, especially if they’re running for long periods of time. Finally, take some time to consider the location of the generator, noise and emissions levels and aesthetics in the initial design plans.
If you decide a portable generator will be sufficient to power your loads, it’s best to spend a little money to get the system set up properly and safely. If you don’t have a covered, ventilated outdoor space for the generator while it’s running, build one. Don’t run the generator anywhere near the inside of the business where carbon monoxide fumes can enter. Doing so can be deadly.
You should also install a bus transfer switch that will allow you to safely power up the electric panel from the generator. Running power cords may not be the easiest way for your business to function and rigging something to power your panel is dangerous and illegal. A simple transfer switch should be installed to ensure there’s no back feeding to the grid and you’re safely powering up the loads. Most electrical contractors should be able to install one or you can consider implementing something like a Generlink transfer switch. You’ll also need to fill out a standby generator application with JEA. This application must be reviewed and approved by JEA before the permit is released.
Once your system is installed, create and implement a routine testing and maintenance program. Periodic maintenance and testing will help ensure the generator operates properly when you need it. It’s also a good practice to test the transfer switch and run the system under full load for a brief time every so often to see how the generator handles it and whether there are any issues that need addressed. Just starting up the generator and running it ensures the generator will run, but it doesn’t ensure that the power system will switch over and operate properly under load.
Testing is typically performed monthly or quarterly, depending on the critical nature of the load. You should also test the system at the first indication that a severe storm may impact the region. Testing and running the system under load should be done with portable generators as well, but it’s not nearly as critical because another one can be quickly purchased, assuming there are some still available when you discover that yours doesn’t work.
Your maintenance plan should also include tracking the fuel’s age. Fuel has a limited life span which varies among the fuel types. Keep track to make sure you have plenty of relatively fresh fuel, especially at the start of storm season.
There are other options if you are unable to purchase and install a system. You can rent or lease a generator, but you’ll need a strong relationship with the dealer and a keen sense of timing because when you need it, most likely many others will as well. You can also look into sharing a generator
with neighboring businesses. It’s not common, but there are folks who do it. No matter what type, size or alternative you choose, you’ll be glad for it during a utility outage when backup power can become the lifeblood of your business.
After a major storm has passed and it is safe for JEA crews to work, JEA assesses the damage to our system and begins the restoration process. This effort could take several days, depending on the level of damage the system sustains. After the assessment is complete, JEA will have a better idea of how long it will take to restore service to customers. Also during this time, JEA will be communicating updates through local media outlets about outages, where crews are working and the progress being made.
If you have damage where the electric wires attach to your house, you must have a licensed electrician it before we can restore power to your house.
Homeowner's Responsibilities After a Storm
Watch the video below to learn more about our power restoration protocol.
The only customers that receive any special consideration are hospitals, public safety and other life support or life-sustaining institutions. Typically, these large customers are served by very large electric lines, which are the first lines to be repaired anyway.
Customers should keep in mind that stopping the engineers to ask questions will slow down this assessment and can also slow down the overall restoration effort. If your power is on, JEA encourages you to keep your front porch/flood light on - day and night - which will help our assessment teams further focus their attention on homes and facilities where power needs to be restored.
There are many reasons why your neighborhood may have areas without power next to areas with power:
Again, JEA will work to restore power to the largest number of customers first, moving to individual locations once power has been restored to major concentrations of customers.
JEA generally restores power in the sequence that will result in returning service to the greatest number of customers as soon as possible.
Here’s how the restoration process works:
1. The first step in our restoration plan is damage assessment, which includes physical inspections of our facilities and plants. Once damage assessments have been made, JEA begins repairs.
2. We begin repairs to our generating facilities and transmission lines from those plants, and to water and wastewater treatment facilities.
3. Next, we move on to main line repairs on electric circuits, water and sewer systems that serve critical facilities such as hospitals, police and fire stations.
4. It is our goal to restore services to the greatest number of customers as soon as possible.
5. Once the large impact areas have had power restored, JEA begins restoring power to those small pockets or individuals still without power.