Lightbulb Power's Out. What's Your Plan?

Whether it is summer heat or a cold winter storm, the power can go out suddenly. Take steps today and learn what you can do before, during and after a power outage to minimize the effect on you and your family.

Before the Power Goes Out

  • Plan ahead. Check the weather forecast to prepare for severe weather. Review your family emergency and communication plans. Remember your pets.
  • Make sure you have a cell phone or hard-wired, single-line phone. Cordless phones will not work without electricity.
  • If you have an automatic garage door opener, learn how to use the manual release to open your garage door.
  • Fill empty space in your freezer with containers of water. Frozen water will displace air and keep food cold longer.
  • Have back-up power and an emergency plan if you or family members use special healthcare equipment like oxygen generators or dialysis equipment. Notify your local power company.

During a Power Outage

  • Use your battery-operated or hand-crank radio to stay informed.
  • Check in with your co-workers if you work outside.
  • Check up on loved ones. Call your neighbors, friends or relatives if you believe they might be susceptible to severe weather exposure. Remember your pets.
  • Be aware of the signs and symptoms of heat-related illness and recognizing hypothermia - see information on our Be Prepared page.

After the Power Goes Out  

  • Do not open refrigerators or freezers more than necessary. An unopened refrigerator will keep food cold for about 4 hours. An unopened freezer will keep food frozen for about 24 hours.
  • If the temperature begins to feel uncomfortable, go to a  place like a library or other public place. If you can, go to a neighbor, friend or relative's house that has heating or air conditioning. Remember your pets.
  • Stay hydrated. Keep drinking plenty of water, even if you're not thirsty. Avoid sugary drinks and drinks with caffeine or alcohol.
  • When the weather is hot, a cool shower or bath is a great way to stay cool.
  • Limit your physical activity in extreme weather.

Additional information on how to Beat the Heat and Be Winter Wise can be found on the Be Prepared page