5 Things to Do Before and After a Power Loss

by Susan Evans

Learn how to prepare before and what to do following a power outage.

WHN TIP – Special Needs: Register any electrically-powered, life-sustaining equipment with your electric supply company and your community emergency program.

When the Power Goes Out

  1. Be safe, be smart.  Use flashlights instead of candles. Flames are quite dangerous and could ignite gases.
  2. Alert your electric company to the problem and mention any electrical problems, downed wires or trees.
  3. Turn off and unplug all tools, appliances and electronic equipment.
  4. Leave on one light switch so you know when power is restored.
  5. Don’t open your freezer or refrigerator unless it is absolutely necessary. A full freezer will keep food frozen for 24 to 36 hours if the door remains closed.

WHN TIP – Flashlights and Batteries:  Keep flashlights in multiple locations with additional fresh batteries and check your flashlights monthly!

When the Power Returns

  1. Do not enter a flooded basement unless you are sure the power is disconnected.
  2. Do not use wet, damp or flooded appliances, outlets, switch boxes or circuit-breaker panels until checked by a qualified technician.
  3. If not flooded, switch on the main electric switch. Give the electrical system a chance to stabilize before reconnecting tools and appliances.
  4. Make sure that the hot water heater is filled before turning on the power to it.
  5. Check food supplies in refrigerators, freezers and cupboards for signs of spoilage. If a freezer door has been kept closed, food should stay frozen 24 to 36 hours depending on the temperature. More at 8 Food Safety and Cleaning Guidelines.

WHN TIP — Leave Gas Off: If the gas was shut off, DO NOT turn it back on. A natural gas service professional is available 24 hours a day to turn on the gas and relight appliances for you.

Photo Credit: PublicDomainPictures

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