Before the power goes out:

  • Fill empty space in freezer with containers of water. Frozen water will displace air and keep food cold longer. Remember to leave space in containers for ice to expand.
  • Have at least one phone with a handset cord in your home. Many cordless phones will not work in a power outage.
  • If you have an automatic garage door opener, learn how to use the manual release and open your garage door manually.
  • Try to keep your car’s gas tank at least half full. Many gas stations will not be in operation during a power outage. Fill up your tank if a major storm is predicted.
  • Make sure you have a car or lighter plug cord for your cell phone.
  • If you use special healthcare equipment like oxygen generators or dialysis equipment, notify your power company.

After the power goes out:

  • Unplug major appliances and electronics. When the power comes back on, there may be power spikes that can damage large appliances or delicate electronics.
  • Do not open refrigerators or freezers any more than necessary. An unopened refrigerator will keep food cold for approximately 4 hours, an unopened freezer will keep food frozen for approximately 24 hours.
  • Use a battery-powered radio to stay informed.
Create a power outage plan and decide what you can do before, during and after a power outage to minimize the effect on your household.