Problem: Electrical power is cut off to home because of storms, tornadoes, floods, or other mechanical failures.
Background: Fortunately most power outages today are only temporary. If a storm knocks down a power line near your home, stay away from it. Call the fire or police department for help in keeping people away, and report the downed line to your electric utility immediately.
What to do: If the power goes off, unplug or turn off major appliances in use when power went out. This will help eliminate the need for a large surge of electric power when the service returns. Such a surge could damage your TV or appliances and the electric distribution system in addition to prolonging the outage. Leave at least one light switched on so you will know when the power is restored. When power returns, wait a few minutes before turning on lights and appliances, then turn them on one at a time. If the power goes off again right after it has been restored, check the fuses and circuit breakers to be sure they haven’t blown or tripped. To help keep food cold as long as possible, do not open freezer or refrigerator doors unless absolutely necessary. If outage cuts off heat in cold weather.
Special advice: As with most emergencies, it’s best to be prepared be forehand. Assemble emergency supplies, such as candles, matches, fresh batteries, a flashlight, and a battery-powered radio, in a special cabinet or drawer in your home.
Helpful hint: If lighting your home with candles or oil lamps during an outage, placing them near light- colored walls or mirrors at shoulder height can increase illumination. Be careful to keep open flames out of drafts, away from draperies and upholstery, and out of the reach of children.