Seven things you should do when the power goes out in your area

Everyone experiences a power outage now and then, especially in areas of the country prone to extreme storms. Knowing what to do when the power goes out can save you time, aggravation, and money. The next time you’re dealing with a power outage in your neighborhood, we recommend taking these steps.

1. Reset circuit breakers

If your house is the only one on the block with no electricity, only part of your home is without power, or the power went off while you were using an appliance, chances are a circuit breaker was tripped. Here’s what to do:

2. Reset GFI outlets

If a partial power outage affects a small area of your home, only a few appliances, or specific outlets, some or all GFI outlets may need to be reset (GFI outlets are located in rooms with sinks and/or water). Simply press the reset button until it clicks.

3. Unplug appliances and lamps

Microwaves, televisions, computers, and anything else with electronic components needs to be unplugged to prevent damage associated with voltage surges when electricity is restored. And after electricity is restored, you should wait a few minutes before turning them back on to reduce demand on the entire area’s electrical system.

Tip: Leave one lamp plugged in because if you unplug everything, it’s harder to determine when the power goes back on!

4. Keep the refrigerator closed

Every time you open the fridge or freezer door, cold air escapes and your food is subjected to warming. If you resist the urge to open your fridge, food can stay at a safe temperature for a minimum of four hours.

5. Fill your freezer

An empty freezer insulates all the food for 48 hours, but this is reduced to 24 hours for a half empty one. Keeping it full doesn’t mean you have to spend more on unnecessary groceries. Take gallon-sized freezer bags, fill them up with water, and keep them in your freezer when it isn’t full.

6. Prepare for the unexpected

Keep an adequate supply of the following essentials stored in a cool, dry place that is easily accessible to your family. You’ll notice the below list doesn’t include the pre-19th century lighting method known as candles because safety experts advise against this.

7. Report an outage

If you're still without power, please report the outage by calling or contacting us online. Power outages are one of those things in life that can’t always be controlled. Should this happen, we appreciate your patience and understanding. Rest assured, our crews are committed to restoring your service as safely and quickly as possible.

Learn how to plan ahead for a power outage.

Plan ahead


  1. Safety