Power Outage Preparedness
A number of things can cause a power outage. While the majority of outages are short term, an unexpected major disaster can cause your home to be without power for an extended period of time. Below is some helpful information you may want to keep handy to ensure that you and your family are prepared to be without power.
- Keep a kit on hand with the following items, making sure to check your kit and refresh batteries periodically:
- Flashlight with extra batteries
- Portable, battery-powered radio or TV
- Tool box with screwdrivers, wrench, and pliers Work gloves
- Drinking water (at least 1 gallon per person, per day)
- List of contacts, including emergency services, physicians, family, and friends
- Use a flashlight for emergency lighting—candles can be a serious fire hazard
- Turn off major appliances, such as air conditioning or pool pumps, to avoid a drain or power surge when the electricity comes back on
- Leave one light turned on so you know when the power comes back on
- Avoid opening your refrigerator or freezer to keep contents cold
- Do not run a generator inside an enclosed area, and open your main circuit breaker—generation can backfeed into the utility grid and cause damage to equipment
- Do not place electrical cords so that they run through doorways or under carpets
- Check that the wattage of all bulbs in light fixtures is the correct wattage for your fixtures
- Keep space heaters three feet away from any combustible materials such as bedding, clothing, and draperies
- If you are in your vehicle, remember to treat flashing signals as stop signs
If you are outside and power is interrupted (or lost), remember to exercise extreme caution around any downed power lines. Never touch or approach the wires or utility pole – report any down wires immediately to emergency personnel. If you do come across downed power lines, make sure to follow these steps:
- Stay inside until help arrives.
- Do not grab or lean against vehicles, poles or other objects in the vicinity of the power lines.
- Take small shuffle steps away from the area with your feet and legs close together.
- Do not touch anyone or any other object until you are well away from the scene.