The best way to be prepared for an electricity blackout is to plan ahead. Make sure you have batteries, a battery powered radio or TV and non-perishable food and water available in case a blackout occurs. The steps below may also help before and during a blackout.
Before a blackout
- If you have an electric garage door opener, locate the manual release lever and learn how to operate it.
- Keep your cars gas tank at least half full because gas stations rely on electricity to power their pumps.
- Have an extra battery on hand for battery-operated wheelchairs.
During a blackout
- Only use a flashlight for emergency lighting--never use candles because they increase your risk of a house fire dramatically.
- Most cordless phones won't work if the power goes out, so be sure to have a standard telephone in your home. Cellular phones may not operate properly during a blackout because cellular networks may lose power to the towers that transmit your call.
- Turn off electrical equipment you were using when the power went out. Leave one light on so you'll know when power returns.
- Avoid opening the refrigerator and freezer. Most medication that requires refrigeration can be kept in a closed refrigerator for several hours.
- Don't run a generator inside a home or garage or connect it to a homes electrical system. If you use a generator, connect the equipment you want to power directly to outlets on the generator.
- Listen to a radio for the latest information.