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  • Category:
    Disaster Preparedness
  • Published:
    January 7, 2015
  • Updated:
    July 6, 2021

What to Do If the Lights Go Out This Winter

 SevereWeather_Blog_ImageAre you prepared for Old Man Winter? Do you know what to do in the event of a power outage? Consider these ideas to help you get ready:

  • Make an emergency plan. Know your evacuation routes, and prepare an emergency weather kit to keep in your car. Talk to your family or support network so that everyone knows their part of the emergency plan.
  • Avoid downed power lines and sagging trees with broken limbs.
  • Food in a freezer will generally stay frozen up to 36 hours if the door is kept closed. A half-full freezer will generally keep food frozen for 24 hours. Wrapping the freezer in blankets helps insulate it.  As soon as power returns, check temperatures. If the food in the freezer has ice crystals and is not above 40°F, you can refreeze.  Note:  Perishable foods in the refrigerator should not be above 40°F for more than two hours.
  • Unplug all major appliances and turn off electric heaters. When power is restored, appliances can draw three to four times the electric current they normally use, which can cause a short-term overload or even another power outage.
  • Keep a small lamp plugged in and turned on so you’ll know when power is restored. Once your electric service is back on, plug in your appliances first and then turn your air conditioning back on.
  • Make sure to have flashlights, a battery-powered radio and fresh batteries in an easily accessible area. Do not use candles for lighting.
  • Be sure to check on elderly neighbors and those with special needs who might need additional assistance.
  • Unplug sensitive electronics, like televisions and computers, and appliances such as room air conditioners or space heaters. This may prevent appliances from being damaged by power variations that can occur when power is restored.
  • Keep curtains closed and limit trips outside to maintain temperature for a longer period.

  UtilityWires_Blog_Image Important Numbers in Case of a Power Outage If you are experiencing a power outage, please contact your local utility company (transmission and distribution service provider) for assistance.

Sources:,, and

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Comments ( 1 )

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Mary Harvey - 1/14/2015

Just to let you know that the tips are very helpful. Thank you.

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