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.