Safety Tips and Preparation

Protect your equipment from power surges

Unplug sensitive electronics like TVs, computers and printers. Turn power strips off.

Downed wires can be deadly

If you see a downed wire, please stay at least 25 feet away from it, and anything it is touching. Once you’re safe, call 9-1-1. Then call us at 800-477-5050.

Dangerous situation or emergency? Call 9-1-1 first, then call us.

Call 9-1-1 first if you or anyone near you is at risk. Then alert us next by calling 800-477-5050.

Stay in the know: get outage alerts sent to you automatically, and follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

The best way to get outage updates is by signing up for alerts. We also communicate actively online, so follow us on Facebook or Twitter.

Keep track of your Estimated Time of Restoration

Once you have reported an outage to us, it’s easy to return to the online Outage Center and check on your Estimated Time of Restoration. Restoration times are estimated and may change as new information becomes available, like when crews on the ground accurately assess the situation.

During storms, phone networks get congested, so try to limit phone calls to emergencies only.

During a storm, please limit phone calls to reporting emergencies only. That helps keep network congestion down so we can concentrate on restoring power quickly and safely. Rather than phoning us, you can get outage alerts sent to you whenever there is new information. Sign up for alerts.

Ensure your phone has power

Always have an emergency battery or charging station at hand for use during an outage. Conserve phone batteries by reducing screen brightness and using "airplane" mode.

Prepare an emergency kit

Create a preparedness kit for your car and home. Things to include: Water and canned food, plus a manual can opener. Blankets, flashlights and batteries and a battery-operated radio are also a good idea.

Stock your pantry

Keep non-perishable food items, a manual can opener and plenty of bottled water on hand.

Keep batteries on hand

Keep the appropriate batteries on hand for flashlights, phones and other devices.

Have your flashlights ready and available

Make sure to keep flashlights in a known place where you can find them.

Don’t play with fire. Skip the candles.

Don't use candles during a storm, as they can be a major fire hazard.

Leave the light on for us

Keep your porch light switched on so crews can see when power is restored. Leave an indoor lamp turned on so you will know when power is restored.

Be sure your food is safe after an outage

Visit to learn about food safety guidelines. Be sure to discard food that has become unsafe.

Safely operate your generator

Generators can be great to have during an outage, but they can also be dangerous - to you, and to our repair crews. Read and follow our tips for safe operation.

Prepare with Emergency Power for life-support equipment

If someone in your home relies on life-support equipment, be prepared. Install a generator to provide emergency power, and enroll in the American Red Cross Identification Program.

Keep a list of important phone numbers handy

Keep emergency contact information and important numbers somewhere easy to find.

Stay off the roads during dangerous weather

Avoiding non-essential travel helps roads stay clear for restoration crews and keeps you clear of hazardous areas.

Stock up on gas

If you anticipate severe weather, it is a good idea to have at least a half tank of gas in your car. Keep an extra container of gas somewhere safe where you can access it in an emergency.

Check electronics and appliances once power is restored

Reset programmed clocks, thermostats and appliances. Check major appliances to ensure they are working properly.

Avoid fly-away hazards

If it's safe to do so, bring in outdoor furniture. It can blow away and cause damage during high winds. Anchor large objects such as grills.

Prevent frozen or burst water pipes

Let faucets drip a little to help prevent pipes from freezing. Prepare for cold weather by insulating your pipes.

Keep food cold during outages

Food will stay cold in a closed fridge for up to 24 hours, and for up to 48 hours in a freezer.

Know how to manually operate devices like garage door openers

Review the process for manually operating your electric garage door and other devices you may need.

Make a plan for outages of different durations

Plan what to do if an outage lasts for more than a few hours. It's a good idea to make separate plans for outages that last a day or two, or those that might last longer.

Keep critical operations running

Develop plans to ensure critical business processes can continue during a power outage or emergency.

Provide back-up power for critical equipment

If you have equipment that cannot be disrupted for even short periods, be sure to use an uninterruptible power supply or a generator.

Develop and follow a communications plan

Plan how you would get in contact with customers, employees and suppliers in an emergency.

Create a plan for crisis operations

Plan how you would serve your customers, employees and suppliers if your facilities closed or you could not get to work due to outages or bad weather.

Encourage employees to prepare their home

Employees are your most important asset – help keep them safe by encouraging them to prepare, stay safe and review these tips.

Monitor and report damage

If it's safe to do so, check for damage to the mast that holds the electric service wires to your business or to the electric box. Report any damage.

Assume downed power wires are dangerous

Stay 25 feet away from a fallen wire and anything it's touching. If a wire falls on your car, stay inside until help arrives.

Stock clean water for drinking and sanitation

If a storm might affect your water supply, fill containers with safe drinking water. Fill the bathtub with water to use for cleaning and sanitation.