Outage Safety

You expect reliable, dependable power from us and we deliver. However, there are some things we can't control – like severe weather, accidents and other unpredictable circumstances that could cause a power outage. Follow the tips below to keep you and your family safe during a power outage.

In the house

  • Never use kerosene or propane heaters inside without proper ventilation. They create dangerous fumes. Also, don't burn charcoal in your house or garage.
  • Preserve body heat by wearing multiple layers of clothing. Add a hat and blankets to stay warm. Put blankets or towels around your windows and doors to help keep the heat in.
  • Protect your water pipes during freezing weather by wrapping them with insulation. Also, leave faucets dripping so water won't freeze and crack the pipes.
  • Your full freezer should keep food frozen and safe for about two days when kept closed.
  • If someone in your home is on life support, be sure to have a back-up system and a plan of action for during an outage.
downed power line

Downed lines

  • Call 911 immediately and then call us toll free at 1-877-508-5088 if you see a downed power line. Don't touch it!
  • Keep everyone, including pets, out of the area. You cannot look at a downed line and determine if it's "live."
  • Do not touch a person if a power line is touching them. Immediately call 911.
  • If a power line falls across your vehicle, stay in the car and wait for emergency personnel to cut the power. If your vehicle is on fire and you are in imminent danger and you must get out of the vehicle, JUMP – with both feet together – as far from the car as possible. If a part of your body touches the car and the ground at the same time, you could be electrocuted.

Generator safety

If you use a portable electric generator, please do so with caution since generators can pose serious safety hazards when improperly used or installed. Remember to follow the manufacturer's instructions.

  • Never plug your generator into an outlet and don't connect a generator directly to your home's main fuse box or circuit panel.
  • If you must provide temporary power to your home's wiring system, the generator must be connected through an approved transfer switch that will isolate your house from our system. The switch must comply with the National Electric Code and local building codes. These include permits, inspection and installation by a licensed electrician.
  • To temporarily power an appliance, plug it directly into the generator.
  • Use properly sized and grounded extension cords and keep cords hidden so they don't present a tripping hazard.
  • Always properly ventilate a portable generator. Gasoline-powered generators produce carbon monoxide and the fumes can be deadly.
  • Make sure that the total electric load on your generator won't exceed the generator's rating.

View our handout on generator safety (PDF).

Outage kit

Build a kit

Assemble supplies, including:

  • A flashlight with extra batteries
  • Battery-operated alarm clock and radio
  • Ready-to-eat foods and manual can opener
  • Bottled water
  • Blankets
  • First aid kit

More information