(Much of the information on this page is adapted from information provided by the American Red Cross and the Federal Alliance for Safe Homes)
As with other types of emergency:
- Create an Emergency
Supply Kit with the items you will need to remain
self-sufficient for up to three days.
- Create a Family
Disaster Plan with plans on sheltering in place
and evacuation, and an out-of-state family contact.
If you use a battery-operated wheelchair, life-support system or
other power-dependent equipment:
- Call your Utility Company, Local Police and Local or
County Office of Emergency
Management NOW, to make sure they will keep a record
of the needs you will have during a blackout.
- If you use a motorized wheelchair or scooter, keep an
extra battery. If available, store a lightweight
manual wheelchair for backup.
- If you are blind or have a visual disability, store a
talking or Braille clock or large-print timepiece with
It is always a good idea to keep your car's fuel tank half-full.
Gas stations rely on electricity to power their pumps.
If you use medication that requires refrigeration:
If you use a computer:
- During a blackout, most of these medicines can be kept
in a closed refrigerator for several hours without a problem.
If unsure, check with your physician or pharmacist.
If you use an electric garage door opener:
- Keep files and operating systems backed up regularly.
Consider buying extra batteries and a power converter if
you use a laptop.
- Turn off all computers, monitors, printers, copiers
and scanners when they are not being used. If the power
goes out, they will have already been safely shut down.
- Get a high quality surge protector for all your
- If you use the computer a lot, such as for a home business,
consider purchasing and installing an uninterruptible power
supply (UPS). Consult with your local computer equipment
dealer about available equipment and costs.
- Find out where the manual release lever is located
and learn how to operate it. Your garage door may be heavy,
so get help to lift it.
- If you regularly use the garage as the primary means of
entering your home after work, be sure to keep a key
to your house with you in case the garage door will
If your telephone system requires electricity:
- If you use a cordless phone, answering machine or other
device that will not work without electricity, plan for
- Keep a standard telephone handset, cell phone,
radio or pager.