Everyone experiences power interruptions from time to time. Unfortunately, many of these outages come at times of weather extremes or accompany various disasters. When the power is out we lose our primary source of artificial light and many lose their source of heat and water as well. When the power is out, safety becomes a major concern.
- Register life-sustaining equipment with your utility.
- Consider purchasing a small generator or know where to rent one if you use life sustaining equipment that requires electrical power.
- Post the telephone number of the New Construction, Repairs, and Power Outage listing of your local utility.
- If you own an electric garage door opener, learn how to open the door without power.
- Prepare a power outage kit. For short duration outages consider having glow light sticks, flashlights, a battery-powered radio, extra batteries and a wind-up clock on hand.
- Make sure you have an alternate heat source and a supply of fuel.
- Have a corded telephone available. Cordless phones do not work when the power is out.
- When installing generators, follow the manufacturer's instructions and have it inspected by the utility company and the state electrical inspector.
- If your house is the only one without power, check your fuse box or circuit breaker panel. Turn off large appliances before replacing fuses or setting circuits.
- If power is out in the neighborhood, disconnect all electrical heaters and appliances to reduce the initial demand and protect the motors from possible low voltage damage.
- If you leave home, turn off or unplug heat producing appliances.
- Unplug computers and other voltage sensitive equipment to protect them against possible surges when power is restored.
- Conserve water, especially if you are on a well.
- Keep doors, windows and draperies closed to retain heat in your home.
- Keep refrigerator and freezer doors closed. If the door remains closed, a fully loaded freezer can keep foods frozen for 2 days.
- Be extremely careful of fire hazards caused by candles or other flammable light sources.
- When using kerosene heaters, gas lanterns or stoves inside the house, maintain ventilation to avoid a build-up of toxic fumes.
- Connect lights and appliances directly to a generator, not to an existing electrical system.