Power Outages

flashlight and batteries

Electrical power can go out unexpectedly for different reasons, like a storm or system overload. When electricity is out for an extended period of time, it can affect our whole community.

Power outages can:

  • Close businesses like grocery stores, gas stations, ATMs, and more
  • Keep you from using medical devices
  • Interfere with your ability to communicate, how your water supply functions, and public transportation
  • Cause food to spoil and water to be contaminated

When electricity is out for an extended period of time, we help you and licensed food businesses understand how to make sure food stays safe to prevent food poisoning.

Be prepared for extended power outages

  • Know which items you rely on use electricity. If they include medical devices or medication, talk to your healthcare provider.
  • Have batteries, portable phone chargers, flashlights, and refrigerator thermometers on hand.
  • Put together an emergency kit with food, water, and other supplies you’ll need for several days. Plan for your pets too!
  • Put together a family emergency communication plan with phone numbers, medical information, emergency meeting places, and more. You may not be together when an emergency happens!
  • Make an evacuation plan: how you’ll leave, where you’ll go, places that take pets, and more.
  • Install battery-operated carbon monoxide detectors on every level of your home.

During a power outage

  • Keep freezers and refrigerators closed. A refrigerator will keep food cold for four hours. A full freezer will keep the temperature for 48 hours.
  • Put a thermometer in the refrigerator and freezer to monitor temperatures. Throw out food if the refrigerator goes above 40 degrees.
  • Put ice in coolers and put food in them if needed.
  • Turn off and unplug appliances and electronics. When the power comes back on, it could spike and cause damage.
  • Do not use a generator indoors.

When the power comes back on

  • When in doubt - throw it out! Food that was above 40 degrees for more than two hours, or that smells or looks funny should be thrown away. Read more about food safety following a power outage.
  • Learn more about how to prepare for, and stay safe during power outages.
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