What should you do when your power goes out due to a hurricane, storm, mechanical power outage, overload of the electrical grid during a big heatwave, or because you forgot to pay your bill?
9 Tips on How to Handle a Power OutageHere are a few suggestions on how to deal with a power outage, including some tips from Con Edison, NY:
- If you have advance warning (for instance, if you know a storm's coming), then power up all your electronic gadgets: phone, iPad, iPod, computer, personal robot, and so on.
- Turn off whatever lights were on.
- Keep the fridge door closed as much as possible to retain the cold (and think about how to make your next meal out of what's most perishable!) (How Long Does Food Last in a Freezer or Fridge During a Power Outage?
- Unplug some additional appliances so you don't overloaded the circuits when power is restored. Consider unplugging TVs, radios, clocks, toasters, toaster ovens, computer printers, computers. Turn off air conditioners clothes dryers, and other appliances that were on when it went dark.
- See if you can find a neighbor to determine if the power outage has hit just your home or a larger area.
- Call your electrical company. (It helps to have your account number available).
- Leave a radio, TV or light on so you know when power's been restored.
- Before evening, find your flashlight and batteries, or candles and matches; beware fire hazard with the latter.
- If you're expecting a big storm, take this funny-but-serious Hurricane Preparedness Quiz to see just how ready you are! (It works for any major storm situation.)
Contacts:Use these numbers to report a power outage:
- Con Ed:1-800-75CONED
- National Grid: 1-800-465-1212)
- NY City Help Line 311.
- If you see downed power lines in your neighborhood, report it to your power provider or 311.