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
- Be safe, be smart. Use flashlights instead of candles. Flames are quite dangerous and could ignite gases.
- Alert your electric company to the problem and mention any electrical problems, downed wires or trees.
- Turn off and unplug all tools, appliances and electronic equipment.
- Leave on one light switch so you know when power is restored.
- 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
- Do not enter a flooded basement unless you are sure the power is disconnected.
- Do not use wet, damp or flooded appliances, outlets, switch boxes or circuit-breaker panels until checked by a qualified technician.
- If not flooded, switch on the main electric switch. Give the electrical system a chance to stabilize before reconnecting tools and appliances.
- Make sure that the hot water heater is filled before turning on the power to it.
- 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.
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