Before an outage
- Create a safety plan for all members of your family, including pets. A power outage can happen at any time of day or night, due to changing weather conditions.
- Prepare an emergency supply kit. Include enough water and non-perishable food to last your household one week. Be sure to refresh your kit once a year.
- Determine if your landline will work during an outage. Keep a mobile phone as a backup.
- Keep mobile phones and other devices charged.
- If you have a generator, make sure it’s ready to operate safely.
- Have flashlights available for your household. Avoid using candles.
- Have a battery-powered or crank radio.
- Stock up on the right batteries for items you rely on. Include two extra sets in various sizes.
- Keep cash on hand and a full tank of gas. ATMs and gas stations may not be available during an outage.
- Learn how to manually open your garage or any other door that operates with electricity.
If you depend on electricity for medical needs
Keep emergency phone numbers handy and consider staying with a friend or relative during an outage. These two checklists can help you plan.
During an outage
- Unplug or turn off appliances, equipment and electronics to avoid damage caused by surges when the power is restored.
- Leave a single lamp on to alert you when the power returns. Then, turn your appliances on, one at a time.
- Typically, your refrigerator will keep food cold for about 4 hours and a full freezer will keep its temperature for about 48 hours–as long as the freezer and refrigerator doors are kept closed. Consider using coolers with ice to keep food cold and safe.
- Be sure to use generators, camp stoves or charcoal grills outdoors only. Do not use a gas stove for heat.
- Check on your neighbors.