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Power outage

Always be prepared!

Put together a disaster supplies kit that is easily accessible in case of a lengthy power outage or other natural event.

What to do - and what to avoid - when the power goes off

If the lights go off, know what steps to take to be comfortable and safe and to help the Co-op restore service quickly.
  • Check your electrical panel. Look for tripped breakers or blown fuses. Try to reset the breakers by switching them OFF then ON.
  • If the power does not return report it to your utility provider.
  • Turn off major appliances. The water heater and heating system breakers need to be turned off to avoid overloading your circuits when the power is restored. Unplug any voltage-sensitive equipment.
  • Install surge protectors to protect voltage sensitive equipment. You can purchase high quality surge protection devices from a variety of online dealers and local electricians.
  • Keep the refrigerator and freezer doors closed. Food in a refrigerator can last 12 to 24 hours if the doors remain closed. A full freezer can last 24 to 48 hours.
  • Listen to radio reports. Keep either a battery operated or battery free (hand crank) radio on hand for emergencies. During an extended outage, please listen to the local radio stations for updates and information.
  • Never go near or touch a downed power line.
  • Never wire a portable generator directly into your electrical panel.

Remember these tips during an extended outage. It’s easier on everyone involved. This information is very important.
  • Please let the repair crews do their job. It’s tempting to stop crews and ask questions about when the power is going to be restored, but this only delays the restoration process. Remember that while the crews want to be helpful, they also want to restore your power quickly so they too can get home to their families.
  • Be a good neighbor. Severe storms usually increase the number of accidents and medical problems. Remember that this increases the response time for service agencies. You may want to organize people in your area to check on each other and lend assistance.
  • If not used correctly, portable generators can cause fatal accidents involving the workers on the lines. Plug appliances into the generator. DO NOT connect household breaker circuits to the generator without a “double-throw switch” installed by a licensed electrician.
  • Emergency water sources. Run off from roof tops can be collected and used for washing, but do not drink it. A water heater can supply drinking water. Be sure the breaker is OFF before you drain it, and be sure to fill it before turning the breaker back on.
  • Keep the freezer full. Milk jugs filled with water and placed in a half-full freezer can be a supply of both water and ice in an emergency. Also, it will keep the freezer colder longer if it is full. Check into purchasing dry ice to help prevent spoilage.
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