Power Outages

Power outages are caused by many reasons and can occur at anytime. Outages may threaten health and safety by exposing people to the elements (cold/heat, darkness). Power outages that last for hours can also cause serious illness if spoiled food is consumed.

Massive Tri-State Power Outages (since 1985)

Date Area Affected No. Without Power Duration
September 2008 Entire Tri-State 600,000 5-7 days
January 1985 Entire Tri-State 70,000 2-3 days

Prepare for Power Outages

  • Make a preparedness kit. Periodically check that items work. Consider adding the following items for power outages:
    • Extra fuses
    • Food that will not require cooking, manual can opener, food thermometer
  • Develop and practice a plan.
  • Consider buying a generator for your home and/or business.
  • Learn about food safety during power outages.

Advised Action During A Power Outage

  • Check if nearby houses have power. If the outage is limited to your home, then check circuit breakers and fuses to correct the problem.
  • You may lose cordless and Internet phone service during a power outage. Keep a phone on hand that does not require electricity.
  • If the outage is widespread, then report it to your local energy company immediately:
  • Stay away from downed power lines.
  • Turn off lights and appliances to avoid circuit overload when power is restored.
  • To prevent carbon monoxide poisoning, use generators, pressure washers, grills and similar items outdoors only. Do not use your stove or oven to heat rooms.
  • Check with local authorities to be sure your water is safe.
  • In hot weather, drink plenty of fluids to prevent heat-related illness.
  • To prevent food spoilage, keep refrigerator and freezer doors closed as much as possible.