Ameren Cilco & Red Cross Here To Help

By WEEK Producer

January 31, 2011 Updated Jan 31, 2011 at 9:40 PM CDT

Today, (Monday) Ameren Cilco activated its Emergency Operations Center to the orange level.

This means they are anticipating fifty to one-hundred thousand outages with five thousand to seventy-five hundred emergency calls.

Safety is their first and foremost concern in bad weather conditions so they want you to be prepared.

"We're trying to get the largest amount of customers restored first and unfortunately if a customer has a service line that comes down and they're the only one out, they're outages is going to last a longer period of time while we're trying to get the masses restored," says Ameren Cilco's, Stan Ogden.

The Red Cross is planning to have shelters available.

"At a shelter, the first thing people will get is a smiling face which is very nice. It will be some place warm people can go. There would be coats, there would be comfort kits. It would contain toiletries, things like that. There would be food, drinks...things like that," Erin Miller says.

If you lose power, make sure to dress in layers. Keep your refrigerator and freezer closed. Use flashlights, not candles. Don't run a generator inside your home or garage. Never use an oven as a heat source and make sure to let cold water drip from your faucets to prevent pipes from freezing.

Ameren also warns you to stay away from down power lines
If your lights go out, check your circuit panel.
If you lose power, call Ameren at 1-800-755-5000.