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.