This is National Preparedness Month, when we as a Nation take time to create plans to stay safe for any disaster that could potentially affect our communities. This year’s theme is “Don't Wait. Communicate. Make Your Emergency Plan Today.” Each week throughout the month, a different preparedness theme, such as flood, wildfire and hurricane, has been featured to encourage you to consider the kinds of events that could affect your community.

During this week’s Power Outage Week, please take time to plan and practice your response so that you know what to do to be safe if the power goes out. Whether you are a homeowner, business or community leader, you can find information on our website to help prepare before an energy emergency occurs. Because every emergency is different, it is important for your safety that you follow the directives of your state and local emergency management authorities and local utilities. Before engaging in any activities that could impact utility services such as electricity or natural gas, contact your local utility to ensure that the activities are done safely.

At the Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability, we are working diligently with our private and public partners to help ensure our Nation’s power grid is reliable, resilient, flexible and secure, regardless of whether the hazard is natural or manmade. As part of the National Response Framework (NRF), the Federal government established Emergency Support Functions that help the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) prepare for and respond to emergencies that affect the Nation. DOE is the lead agency for Emergency Support Function 12 – also known as ESF-12 – the energy support coordinator. When activated by FEMA, we lead the Federal effort to support energy issues at the state, territory, tribal, and local level. Recently we responded to Typhoon Soudelor in Saipan, a US territory in the Pacific Ocean, to provide unified situational awareness and subject matter expertise. Our efforts allowed the Government to make resource decisions that expedited local stakeholders’ restoration of energy systems.  You can see reports from that event and others posted on our website. Each report provides vital incident information including electricity outage numbers and the status of fuel supplies enabling an effective restoration process at the local level.

The Department of Energy and FEMA have worked together to provide tools and resources for everyone to build a plan, and be ready for all types of emergencies, including those that result in power outages.  To find these resources and learn more about how to be better prepared and protect your family during emergencies, visit  Knowing what to do in case of a disaster will help you get through it more easily, and could even save your life.  Don't Wait. Communicate. Make Your Emergency Plan Today.

Patricia A. Hoffman
Acting Assistant Secretary, Office of Electricity
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