Outage, Safety, and Emergency Tips

What to Do if Your Power Goes Out

  • Check and see if your neighbors have electricity. If they do, check your fuses or circuit breaker to rule out problems with electricity inside your home.
  • If your neighbor’s electricity is out, too, call us at 1-800-478-1818.
  • Use a flashlight when it gets dark. Avoid candles because of the fire risk.
  • Unplug computers, TVs, VCRs, and other sensitive appliances. This will avoid possible damage when electricity comes back on.
  • Turn off all but one of the lights that were on, so you will notice when electricity is restored.
  • Turn off heat-producing appliances, like electric irons and electric heaters to prevent fires in case no one is home when power is restored.

How to Prepare for an Emergency

To prepare for an emergency, you’ll need to make a plan, prepare a safety/survival kit, and know what to do during and after an emergency such as an earthquake.

Make a Plan

Every family should have a safety plan. Make sure your children know what to do and where to go if you’re not home.

Make a Safety Kit

Put the items below in your kit to keep your family comfortable during a power outage. Replace all items in the kit once a year. Make sure everyone in your family knows where the kit is stored.

  • Flashlights
  • A battery-powered radio
  • Extra batteries for flashlight and radio
  • A three-day supply of bottled water (one gallon per person, per day)
  • Canned and dried foods
  • Manual can opener
  • Blankets
  • First aid supplies

What to Do During an Earthquake

  • If you are indoors, duck or drop down to the floor. Take cover under a sturdy desk, table or other furniture. Hold on to it and be prepared to move with it. Hold the position until the ground stops shaking and it is safe to move. Stay clear of windows, fireplaces, woodstoves, and heavy furniture or appliances that may fall over. Stay inside to avoid being injured by falling glass or building parts. If you are in a crowded area, take cover where you are. Stay calm and encourage others to do likewise.
  • If you are outside, get into the open, away from buildings and power lines.
  • If you are driving, stop if it is safe, but stay inside your car or truck. Stay away from bridges, overpasses and tunnels. Move your car as far out of the normal traffic pattern as possible. If possible, avoid stopping under trees, light posts, power lines, or signs.
  • If you are in a mountainous area, or near unstable slopes or cliffs, be alert for falling rock and other debris that could be loosened by the earthquake.
  • If you are at the beach, move quickly to higher ground or several hundred yards inland.

What to Do After an Earthquake

  • Check for injuries. Do not move a seriously injured person unless they are in immediate danger of further injuries.
  • Check for the following hazards:
    • Fire or fire hazards.
    • Gas leaks: Shut off the main gas valve only if a leak is suspected or identified by the odor of natural gas.
    • Damaged electrical wiring: Shut off power at the control box.
    • Downed or damaged utility lines: Stay away from downed lines even if power appears to be off.
    • Fallen objects in closets and cupboards: Displaced objects may fall when you open the door.
    • Downed or damaged chimneys: Approach chimneys with caution. They may be weakened and could topple during an aftershock.
    • Check your telephone: Make sure each phone is on its receiver. Telephones that are off the hook tie up the telephone network unnecessarily.
  • Clean up potentially harmful materials which may have spilled, if you can do so safely.
  • If you live along the coast, be alert for news of tsunami warnings issued by the Alaska Tsunami Warning Center. If you experience a strong earthquake, there may not be time to issue a warning. Move to higher ground as soon as you are able, and stay there until the authorities issue an “all clear.”
  • Expect aftershocks. Most of these are smaller than the main earthquake. Some may be large enough to do additional damage to weakened structures.