Storm Center

During Outages

Overview

Check fuses or circuit breakers to rule out problems with electricity inside your home. If a fuse is blown, replace it with the appropriate fuse. If a breaker has tripped, reset it from off to on. If you're unsure about fixing a fuse or circuit breaker, call an electrician.

  • Listen to radio reports. If the outage is widespread, use a radio to monitor the outage restoration process.
  • Unplug computers, TVs, VCRs and other sensitive appliances to avoid possible damage when electricity is restored.
  • When power resumes, reset clocks and check automatic alarms and timers. Plug in only essential items. Wait 10 minutes before connecting the rest to let the electrical system stabilize.
  • Turn off all but one of the lights that were on, so you will notice when electricity is restored.
  • Use a flashlight. Avoid candles because of the fire risk.
  • Turn off heat-producing appliances like electric irons and heaters to prevent a fire in case no one is home when power is restored.
  • If a standby generator is used, make sure it has a manual or automatic transfer switch. This switch will isolate home circuits from power lines. A generator that does not have a transfer switch can back feed electricity into main power lines, causing a shock hazard for you and utility crews. Be alert for carbon monoxide buildup from portable generators. Never run a portable generator inside or near a building.