What To Do If Your Power Goes Out

Do you know what to do if the power goes out in your area? Be prepared with these handy tips:

If the Lights Go Out

If the lights go out, first, determine if there is actually a power outage or if you’re having a problem with your breaker. Click here to learn how!

If there is not a problem with your fuse or breaker, check to see if your neighbors have power. Power can be lost in a very localized area; houses that are served by the same pole-mounted power transformer will be dark, while a house next door is fully lit.

If it is an outage, call your utility company and report the problem. Not sure of your utility company’s contact information? Go to our Help Center for a list of providers!


Make sure you have a phone available that does not need to be plugged in to a phone jack to work. Cordless or extension phones that require electricity will be inoperable during a power outage.

To keep connected to the outside world, it’s also a good idea to invest in a battery-operated radio. Don’t forget to stock up on extra batteries!

Turn Off Your Appliances

Why should you turn off your appliances? Three reasons:

  • To protect appliances from electrical surges that could cause them damage.
  • For your own safety! If the power goes out, it’s easy to forget simple steps like turning off your iron. If you’re away from home when the power returns, you could have a serious safety issue on your hands.
  • To reduce chance of tripping breakers. Restarting appliances can use almost double the amount of electricity that they use when running normally. When the power comes back and the main switches are re-energized, having appliances in the on position can cause breakers to trip.

Stay Cool

If the electricity goes out when the weather outside is warm, prepare to stay cool as your house heats up.

  • Drink plenty of water!
  • Monitor young children and elderly individuals for heat exhaustion. In case of an emergency, call 9-1-1.
  • Gather in cooler areas of your house, such as a basement.
  • Dress in light, loose-fitting clothing.
  • Close all blinds and drapes to keep the heat out.
  • To facilitate fresh air and a light breeze, slightly open a window. This is especially important for ventilation if your regular cold-air systems aren’t work.

To learn more about what to do in the case of a power outage, visit our Learning Center for additional information!