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Preparing for a Power Outage

Author: ServiceMaster Restore

If a power outage occurs in your neighborhood, will you know what to do? Sometimes, people can be knocked off the power grid for days at a time, making it important that you know how to act to stay safe during an outage. Learn how you can prepare for a power outage with help from the experts at ServiceMaster Restore®.

Power outage preparation

Use these tips to prepare for a power outage in your area:

1. Make an emergency kit.

An emergency kit should be stocked with basic supplies that you may need in case you're stuck inside or have to evacuate the home quickly. In situations where you'll be without power, you'll need essential items like flashlights, batteries, food and water. For more information on what to include in an emergency kit for other disasters, use our emergency kit checklist.

2. Prepare your tech.

During a power outage, having the ability to communicate and stay informed can make all the difference. First, sign up for notifications from your power company and emergency services to get up-to-date reports as circumstances change. Then, stock up on alternate charging methods for your phone and any other devices that require power to continue receiving updates. Finally, consider buying surge protectors to reduce the risk of damage or loss to your electronics due to any potential power surges.

3. Learn about your community.

Find out if your area has established emergency plans or designated safe areas for the community. If a power outage lasts for days at a time, either from man-made issues or a natural disaster, some areas may set up cooling and warming shelters to provide extra protection while you wait out the disruption.

4. Plan ahead.

If you know a major storm is approaching, it's likely that your community will experience a power outage. Plan ahead by filling plastic containers with water and placing them in your refrigerator and freezer. This water and ice can help keep your food cold during a short power outage. Then, keep your phones charged for as long as possible to help prevent them from dying while you're off the grid.

5. Create a back-up plan.

If you rely on battery-operated or power-dependent equipment, including medical devices, prepare a back-up plan before the worst happens. For more information on how individuals with disabilities can prepare for power outages and other disasters, go to

6. Prepare your car.

Gas stations rely on electricity to power their pumps. To avoid getting stuck when a power outage strikes, keep your car's gas tank full at all times. In the event that you're without power for long periods of time, you can even use your car to charge your phones and continue receiving timely updates. Be sure your car is in a well-ventilated area outside of the garage before running your car to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning.

7. Spread the word.

Start a conversation with your friends and family to ensure everyone is aware of what to do and how to stay in touch during a power outage. That way, the whole community can act quickly and responsibly.

Whether a power outage is caused by a storm, faulty equipment or overuse of energy, knowing what to do while the power is out can help you recover quickly. Follow these tips to help you prepare for your community's next outage. Don't forget to participate in this year's National PrepareAthon! Day by registering your preparedness activities, taking action and spreading the word.