Prepare Your Home for Emergencies

You can't predict when emergencies will strike, but you can be prepared and act accordingly. Below we'll give you tips on how to prepare you and your family for any kind of emergency you encounter. Find out how BWL prepares for emergencies by visiting the BWL Emergency Management page.

Emergency Efforts


We can all play a part when it comes to mitigating circumstances that may pose a potential risk. As customers, your awareness and ability to report problems in our service area are critical to a quick response to – or possibly preventing – a crisis.

One way you can keep aware is to sign up for BWL's emergency alerts through the RAVE platform. Click here for information on how to register for an account.

Register Here


Here are some tips on how you can prepare yourself and your family for any potential utility disruptions:

  • Download the Outage Center Mobile AppSearch “Lansing BWL” in your app store to find the free BWL Outage Center mobile app for both Apple and Android devices.
  • Battery Backup Systems: Ask your doctor about emergency battery backup systems if you use electrically-powered life-support equipment.
  • Surge Protectors: Protect sensitive electronic equipment, such as computers, televisions and other devices, with surge protectors.
  • Replacement Fuses: Make sure you know how to safely reset your circuit breaker or change fuses. Plus, keep extra fuses on hand.
  • Garage Door: Know how to open your garage door manually if it's equipped with an automatic opener.
  • Local Resources: We've partnered with Do 1 Thing for many years. See their preparedness tips here: Do 1 Thing: Small steps toward being prepared for an emergency.

Generator Safety

Generators are great tools to have when the power goes out, but it's crucial you know how to use them to keep you and your family safe. See our safety tips below:

  • Never operate a generator inside your home or garage, proper ventilation is necessary.
  • Opening windows and doors will NOT prevent CO build up in enclosed spaces.
  • Make sure your generator is at least 20 feet from your house.
  • Be aware of your health and surroundings when a generator is in use.
  • High concentrations of carbon monoxide can kill in less than 5 minutes.
  • Symptoms of CO poisoning include blurry vision, headache, dizziness and fatigue, confusion, chest pain, nausea and vomiting and shortness of breath.


During emergencies, your feedback can help us restore your services as quickly as possible. Learn more about what you can do to help BWL's commitment to reliable water and electricity.

Reporting Power Outages

If you lose power, please report your outage using one of the four ways outlined in our Outage Center. If you see or suspect a downed power line, stay at least 20 feet away and keep children and pets away. Call 877-295-5001 or 911 immediately. 

Reporting Water Concerns

For water quality concerns including discolored water, a change in pressure or a water main break, please call 517-702-6490.

Safety Tips

  • Stay at least 25 feet away from downed power lines and anything they're in contact with, including puddles of water and fences. Keep children and pets away, too.
  • Be extremely cautious near metal fences, which conduct electricity, following a severe storm. Electric current will be the strongest where a downed power line is touching a metal fence. Even a connecting fence several backyards away can be energized and dangerous.
  • Never cross yellow barrier tape. It may be around downed power lines.
  • Never drive across downed power lines. If a power line falls on your vehicle, remain inside your vehicle until emergency help arrives.
  • A live power line may spark and whip around as it looks for a ground. A ground is the earth or something touching the earth, like a fence or a tree. A live wire that has found its ground may lie silently, but is still dangerous. Report it by calling 877-295-5001.
  • Cable or telephone lines can be energized if they meet electrical lines. Contact with any energized power line can be fatal, so never touch them.
  • If you see BWL employees out working, slow down and go around them.


During a storm or in the instance of a downed wire, we will have employees spot wires or sit in their trucks protecting the wires that may be live. Their sole purpose is to keep the public away from the wires in order to keep everyone safe. Trucks used for spotting may have signs like the one on the right.

BWL line spotter sign

Mast Repair Service

Buildings connect to electrical service through an electrical service mast. While BWL is responsible for the lines that run up to the mast, the mast itself is the property and responsibility of the home or business owner. If your mast is damaged and you lose electrical service as a result, you are responsible for making necessary repairs before BWL can restore your power. For more information, visit our mast repair page.


Recovery includes actions taken to return to a normal or safer situation following an emergency. Specific tasks during this stage include accounting for and assuring financial assistance (if applicable) and gathering information to perform a thorough review, if required.

Outage Credit

Upon eligibility requirements, you can apply for an outage credit here

Damage or Loss of Property

If you believe that the BWL directly caused damage to your property, you can view the requirements here

Frequently Asked Questions

Please call 911 and wait in your vehicle for help. If you must get out of the vehicle because of fire or other danger, jump clear of the vehicle. Be sure not to touch your vehicle and the ground at the same time.

Remember: When electricity hits the ground, it spreads out in ripples of varying voltage — like a stone skipped across water. The voltage is highest in the ring closest to the vehicle and decreases with distance. If you place one foot in a different voltage zone than the other, you could become a conductor for electricity.

Follow these guidelines:

  • Only plugs or plug guards should be placed in any outlet. Be sure outdoor outlets and outlets near wet areas of the kitchen, bath and laundry room have GFCIs (ground fault circuit interrupters) to prevent serious shock injuries.
  • Inspect cords and plugs regularly and replace damaged ones. To prevent damage, pull by the plug, not the cord, when unplugging an appliance or yard tool.
  • Never use anything other than a fuse to replace a fuse. Make sure the replacement fuse is the correct amperage.
  • Always unplug an appliance or tool before cleaning, adjusting or repairing it.

Never touch a person who is being shocked. Act quickly, but keep yourself out of danger. If you can do so safely, unplug the appliance causing the shock or turn off the power. Call for medical help immediately. Once the victim is cleared from electrical contact, begin CPR.

Never throw water on an electrical fire. If you can do so safely, turn off the power or unplug the appliance causing the fire. Call emergency services immediately. Limit the number of appliances plugged into each outlet to try and prevent an electrical fire. Don’t exceed the recommended wattage when replacing bulbs in lamps, light fixtures or holiday lighting.

Follow these guidelines:

  • Use appliances only for their intended purpose and always follow the manufacturer’s instructions when installing, operating and maintaining your appliance. Never try to heat your home using your stove, outdoor grill or any other appliance not specifically designed for indoor heating.
  • Keep children and pets a safe distance from heating appliances.
  • A portable space heater should be placed at least three feet away from flammable material and never be left unattended. Turn off your space heater when leaving the house or going to bed.
  • Maintain proper ventilation in the room where a heater is being used. Open the fireplace damper or open a window slightly to ensure the flow of fresh air and prevent carbon monoxide build-up.
  • Keep properly functioning smoke and carbon monoxide detectors on each level of your home and close to sleeping areas.
  • Never use electric heaters near water because of the possibility of shock or electrocution.
  • Avoid using extension cords with electric heaters.