Be Prepared: Power Outages
September is National Preparedness Month
This year we are asking you to take action now – make a plan with your community, your family, and for your pets. Plan how to stay safe and communicate during the disasters that can affect your community.
Power Outage Actions
Power outages can occur at any time and for a variety of reasons, such as severe weather and utility infrastructure failure. The biggest power outage in U.S. history occurred on August 14, 2003, leaving roughly 50 million people without power. Power outages, or blackouts, can happen anywhere, and to anyone, so being prepared is important.
Power Outage Tips
- Keep a flashlight, battery-operated weather radio, and other emergency supplies handy.
- Do not use candles; they are a fire hazard.
- Maintain a list of utility company phone numbers and websites.
- Check the fuse/breaker box to see if there is a blown fuse or a tripped circuit breaker.
- If you determine a fuse/breaker box needs to be replaced/reset, turn off or unplug appliances before doing so to avoid damage to the electrical system.
- Check your neighborhood to see if others are without power.
- Call to report the power outage.
- Call only once to keep the line open for other customers.
- Check your refrigerator to ensure food does not go bad and cause food-related illnesses.
- Discard any food in your freezer that is over 40 degrees.
- If you rely on electric medical equipment, such as wheelchairs, ventilators, and oxygen compressors, plan ahead by talking to your medical supply company about getting batteries or a generator as a back-up power source.
Additional information about Power Outage Safety can be found at Power Outage – American Red Cross.