Power Outage Safety

Include power outages in your family disaster plan, identifying alternate means of transportation and routes to home, school, or work.

Keep extra cash on hand since an extended power outage may prevent you from withdrawing money from automatic teller machines or banks.

Keep a supply of non-perishable foods, medicine, baby supplies, and pet food as appropriate on hand. Also be sure to have at least one gallon of water per person per day on hand.

Avoid opening the fridge or freezer. Food should be safe as long as the outage lasts no more than 4-6 hours.

Have one or more coolers for cold food storage, in case power outage is prolonged. Perishable foods should not be stored for more than two hours above 40 degrees Fahrenheit.

Have an emergency power supply for anyone dependent on medical equipment requiring electricity.

Keep a supply of flashlights, batteries, and a battery-powered radio on hand.

Do not use candles as they pose a fire hazard.

Connect only individual appliances to portable generators and never plug a generator into wall outlets.

Use gas-powered generators only in well-ventilated areas.

When driving, be careful at intersections – traffic lights may be out, creating a dangerous situation.

Turn off any electrical equipment that was in use prior to the power.

Turn off all lights but one, to alert you when power resumes.

Check on elderly neighbors, friends, or relatives who may need assistance if weather is severe during the outage.

During a power outage, resist the temptation to call 9-1-1 for information –that’s what your battery-powered radio is for.

Don’t plug emergency generators into electric outlets or hook them directly to your home’s electrical system – as they can feed electricity back into the power lines, putting you and line workers in danger.

Keep your car fuel tank at least half-full, gas stations rely on electricity to power their pumps.

When power is restored, wait a few minutes before turning on major appliances to help eliminate further problems caused by a sharp increase in demand.