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Power Outage Quick Reference Guide

Power outage preparedness.

Basics items to insure at least 72 hours of relative comfort until help arrives:

  • Nonperishable food.
  • Water.
  • Protect computers with good quality surge protectors.
  • Prevent data loss with automatic backup programs and battery backup systems.
  • Batteries as well as a battery-operated or hand-cranked radio.
  • Cordless phones will not work during a power outage.  Have a backup cell phone or standard telephone handset.
  • Multipurpose fire extinguisher(s).
  • First aid kit(s) and prescription medication (if applicable).

The many causes of power outages.

  • Lightning
  • Wind
  • Ice and Snow
  • Water
  • Coastal Salt Contamination
  • Cable Failure
  • Vehicles
  • Animals
  • Trees and Limbs


During a Power Outage.

  • TURN OFF all appliances, computers, lights, etc except for one that will let you know when the power is back on.
  • DO NOT OPEN the refrigerator unless you must.  Refrigerators will maintain temperatures for some time without electricity.
  • TURN ON your battery powered radio.
  • ELIMINATE unnecessary travel, especially by car and use extreme caution when driving.
  • DO NOT use candles for lighting.
  • NEVER use a generator, grill, camp stove or other gasoline, propane, natural gas or charcoal-burning devices inside a home, garage, basement, crawlspace or any partially enclosed area.  Locate unit away from doors, windows and vents that could allow carbon monoxide to come indoors.
  • CHECK on your neighbors.
  • MONITOR your health.

After a Power Outage.

  • DO NOT TOUCH any electrical power lines and report downed power lines to the appropriate officials in your area.
  • THROW OUT any unsafe food.
  • USE bottled water or boil water for cooking if you have a gas range.  When power is lost, water purification systems may also not work.  Safe water for drinking, cooking and personal hygiene includes bottled, boiled or treated water.
  • When the power does come back on, wait several minutes before turning on major appliances.