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Preparing for a Power Outage

September 25, 2015 - 10:39am


What is your plan for when the power goes out? We've got some preparedness tips. | Energy Department Photo.

What is your plan for when the power goes out? We've got some preparedness tips. | Energy Department Photo.

September is National Preparedness month. Each week of September, FEMA’s website will focus on a different emergency scenario and share tips on how to be prepared in case of floods, wildfires, hurricanes or power outages. The month culminates in National PrepareAthon Day on September 30. Visit for more information.

When power outages occur during severe weather, the Energy Department works with federal, state and local agencies to help coordinate the response for restoring electricity as quickly and efficiently as possible. We also release periodic situation reports on power outage numbers and the severity of damage to electrical infrastructure.

That’s our power outage plan. What’s yours?

It’s important for everyone to plan for a potential power outage. Here are some ideas to consider as you make your own power outage plan:

  • Have extra batteries and a car charger for your mobile devices. This will allow you to stay up-to-date on news reports and use your phone to stay in touch with friends and family. If you use your car to charge your devices, make sure it’s in a well-ventilated place.

  • Keep a physical list of emergency, family and work contacts. In case your phone battery dies, you could find a landline to check on friends and loved ones.

  • Know the location of flashlights and a radio. Make sure these things are easy to access in case of power loss, and that you have extra batteries to keep them running.

  • Conserve your cell phone battery. Reduce the brightness of your screen, place your phone in airplane mode and close unused apps that draw power.

  • Subscribe to text alert services from government officials. These will keep you aware of the current situation.

  • Prevent overloaded circuits. Switch off all unnecessary lights and appliances to prevent overloaded circuits when power is restored.

  • Keep your car tank at least half full. Gas stations rely on electricity to power their pumps.

  • Have a supply of water in the house. FEMA recommends keeping a three-day supply of water available in case clean water is not available. Visit for recommendations.

For more information on how to prepare for a power outage, visit our community guidelines page or FEMA’s

Have power outage tips you’d like to share? You can tweet them using #NatlPrep or submit them on