Power outage safety tips

We work to maintain a reliable power delivery system, but severe weather and other events sometimes cause power outages that require many hours and even days to address. Be prepared and know what to do should a power outage occur.

Before outage


  • Add Outage Hotline to phone: 800-662-4797
  • Assemble an emergency kit and keep it where it’s easy to find in the dark. Suggested items:
    • Flashlights and extra batteries
    • Blankets
    • Water – half gallon/day per person
    • Battery radio, extra batteries
    • Canned or dried food
    • Hand-operated can opener
    • First-aid kit
    • Prescription medications
    • Specialty items for infants, seniors or disabled family members

Other considerations

  • Battery back-up for sump pump
  • Cell phone
  • Generator to power important appliances; test every 30 days
    Generator safety
  • Surge suppression devices for protection when power returns
  • Security and alarm systems
  • Pet safety
  • Card or board games to pass time
  • Dry ice for refrigerator/freezer
  • Frozen jugs of water for refrigerator or cooler, or drinking
  • Well being of friends, neighbors and relatives, especially seniors or anyone with medical conditions

Severe situations

If you have advance notice of severe storms or other conditions that may lead to extended power outages, consider taking additional precautions.

  • Set freezer and refrigerator colder to help food stay safe longer
  • Fill vehicle gas tank (gas station pumps do not operate without power)
  • Get cash (credit or debit cards may not work if power is out)
  • Charge devices, especially cell phones; consider spare power
  • Know emergency shelter locations
  • Get bottled water, other supplies

During outage

Stay safe

  • Report your outage online or by phone:
    Report outage and get updates
  • Stay at least 25 feet away from downed power lines or flooded areas
  • Stay out of flooded basements or rooms
  • Keep refrigerator and freezer doors closed as much as possible
  • Use manual operation of garage door
  • Go to safe shelter if your home is extremely cold or hot
  • Use flashlights, not candles
  • Use generators properly
  • Unplug or turn off appliances to avoid overloading when power is restored
  • Leave a single light on to alert you when power is restored
  • If your home is only one in neighborhood without power, check breakers/fuses
  • Use food safety tips for frozen and refrigerated items

Cold weather tips

  • Wear layers of clothing to keep warm.
  • Close blinds or drapes and avoid opening doors to retain heat.
  • Use generator to power furnace.
  • Use properly vented fireplace or wood-burning stove, if you have one.
  • Do not use outdoor grills, kerosene heaters or camping heaters.
  • Go to safe shelter when extremely cold.