Power failures occur for various reasons, including blackouts, extreme weather conditions or as part of a major natural disaster. You can and should prepare in advance of such events.
Things to do now:
- Make sure you have plenty of batteries on hand for flashlights and battery-powered radios. Flashlights are preferable to candles, because they are a safety hazard.
- Purchase and store in a readily available place flashlights and at least one battery-powered radio.
- If you own a cell phone, always keep it charged.
- If you have a land-line phone, have one that is a basic hard-wired phone. In the event of a power outage, this phone will probably work. Cordless landline phones will lose service during a phone outage. Those that have electrical adapters will not work at all.
Things to do when you hear of a pending storm:
- Turn your freezer and refrigerator to the highest setting.
- Locate your batteries, flashlights and radio. Verify that the flashlights and radio do work when the batteries are installed.
- Gather other items you'll need if power is lost.
If your neighborhood loses power:
- Call the local utility company to inform it of the power outage. Con Edison’s 24-hour hotline is 1-800-75-CONED (752-6633) and NYSEG's hotline service is 1-800-572-1131.
- Leave one lamp on to let you know when power has come back up.
- Use flashlights or battery-operated lanterns instead of candles, as candles are a fire hazard.
- Turn off major appliances. An overload could happen when the power is restored if all appliances kick back on at once.
- Limit opening the refrigerator and freezer doors as much as possible.
- Get news updates and any emergency instructions from your battery-operated radio.
- Do not operate electrical generators indoors (this includes your garage) as it could lead to carbon monoxide poisoning. Only use them outside in a well-ventilated area.
- Never use the stove or gas range in your kitchen to heat your home.
- Stay away from downed power lines.
- If you suspect a gas leak, smell gas or hear gas escaping from pipes, shut off the main gas valve and open all doors and windows to ventilate.
- Treat non-working traffic signals as a stop sign if you are driving.