Even the most reliable electrical service can go off sometimes. Print this checklist and keep it in a convenient spot so you can find it easily if your power goes off.
1. Check to see if your neighbors have electricity. If they do, check your fuses or circuit breakers to rule out problems with electricity inside your home.
2. Once you're sure it's an outage, call your local electric utility and let them know. Do not call 911 unless you have a real emergency.
3. Use a flashlight when it gets dark. If you must use candles, never leave them unattended.
4. Use a battery-powered radio and listen to a local news radio station for updates.
5. Turn off power strips and/or unplug computers, TVs, DVD players, and any other sensitive appliances. This will help prevent potential damage when electricity comes back on. NOTE: All electronic appliances are vulnerable to power surges. They should be plugged into a surge-suppressor power strip, not directly into a wall outlet.
6. Turn off all but one of the lights that were on, so you will notice when electricity is restored.
7. Turn off heat–producing appliances like electric irons and heaters to prevent fires in case no one is home when power is restored.
8. Outside your home: Traffic lights and railroad crossings may not work. If you’re driving, stop, look, and listen for cross traffic. If you’re stuck in an elevator, stay there and wait for help. Never try to climb out between floors.