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Causes of Power Outages

What to Do (and Not Do) in a Power Outage

Going about our days, we never realize how much we depend on electricity until it is gone. Computers, TV, gaming systems, smart home appliances, refrigerators, lights, and phones require electricity. When they are gone, it can be unsettling and potentially dangerous. The following tips are how you can do the right thing when a power outage strikes in your area.


Stock up on Water
Going without water for extended periods is tough on personal hygiene and hydration. Three gallons of water per person, per day for both drinking and sanitation (FEMA recommends a 5-day supply)

Keep a light plugged in
Keep a lamp plugged in so when power is restored, the light turns on and you know the power is back on.

Turn faucets on
In extended winter outages, you may start to worry about the temperature freezing your pipes. A good way to counteract the cold is to turn your faucets on to a trickle. If you have water pipes in your garage, keep your garage doors closed to keep warmth in.

Keep Away from Downed Power Lines
Always stay away from downed power lines.


Light Candles
Candles are not for lighting your home in an outage. Candles are a fire hazard and not a strong source of light. Use a lantern for light instead.

Let Your Phone Die
Save battery in the event that power is out for a day or more. Turn off your phone and save it for an emergency.

Keep Electronics Plugged in
When power returns, it can cause a surge of electricity that can damage electronics. Unplug electronics or invest in a surge protected power strip to prevent this from happening.

Open the Fridge
Keep the fridge closed. It can keep food colder for longer. The same is true with your freezer. If your freezer is mostly full, it is actually a good thing. A full freezer keeps things insolated. Everything inside it becomes an ice pack. If you suspect a power outage is likely to happen, fill water bottles with water. Place them inside to take up space and create insolation for the food inside.

Put a Generator in your Garage
If you own a portable generator, you should never run it inside your garage, ever. When the generator is running, it puts out a colorless and odorless lethal gas. Never run a generator inside an enclosed space, even with the garage door open.

Backfeed your Generator
When you run a portable generator to power your house, the power is out. If you hook up your generator to your house incorrectly, it can backfeed into the power grid. When the power is out, it is very likely that an electrician is working on the line. When backfeeding into the grid, your generator can deliver a lethal amount of electricity to any workers.

With a home standby generator, you can rest easy knowing that all is taken care of automatically. When an outage is detected, your home generator turns on and delivers power when you need it. When utility power is restored, your generator turns off by itself. This option is safer and easier to use for everyone involved.
Learn More About How Home Standby Generators Work


Prepare for Winter

Learn how you can prepare for winter outages.