Power Lines in Sun Heart

How to Prepare for a Power Outage

Electricity helps with almost everything we do. That’s why it can be frustrating when the lights go out. With a little preparation, you can weather the storm with the least possible inconvenience.

Make sure you know your account number and HEMC has your current phone number on file. This preparation will pay off when reporting an outage. Visit the Ready.gov website to create a customized checklist.

It is very important for members on life-support equipment to make alternate plans for power or lodging in the event of a prolonged outage.

Catastrophes like ice storms and tornadoes may cause extended outage. Protect your family and property with these tips.


  • Limit opening your freezer and refrigerator to prevent food spoilage. Food will keep longer if doors remain closed.
  • Don’t cook inside with charcoal and be careful with candles, fireplaces, fuel lamps, etc.
  • If you use a portable generator, isolate it from our lines with a double-pole, double-throw transfer switch. Not doing this could cause electrocution to anyone coming in contact with the lines or a direct feedback and ruin all the appliances in your home. Learn more about Generator Safety.

Supplies to Have Ready

It’s smart to have the following items on hand during extended outages. Rotate your supplies to keep them fresh.

  • Flashlights, extra batteries, candles and matches or some type of fuel lamp (kerosene, oil, propane) and extra fuel
  • Water
    • Keep a 3- to 5-day supply of drinking water in plastic bottles. Plan on at least 1 gallon of water per person per day.
    • If you depend on a well: fill bathtubs or other large containers for household use.
    • Fill clean pitchers or jugs for drinking water.
  • Food
    • Nonperishable foods that don’t need cooking are ideal, like canned fruit, canned meats, powdered milk, peanut butter, bread and crackers. Consider any special dietary needs.
    • Food for your pets
    • Manual can opener
    • Paper plates and plastic utensils to conserve water
    • Camp stove or grill for outdoor cooking and extra charcoal
  • Medical and hygiene supplies
    • First aid kits in home and car
    • Prescription and nonprescription drugs
    • Sanitary and personal hygiene items; premoistened cleansing towelettes are useful to conserve water
  • Blankets, sleeping bags and extra winter clothes, including hats
  • If you have a fireplace: kindling, matches, and a good supply of wood
  • AM/FM radio with extra batteries for local information and a NOAA weather radio for weather warnings
  • USB battery bank to charge mobile devices
  • Battery-powered alarm clock
  • Fully fueled vehicle
  • Fully charged fire extinguisher(s)
  • Entertainment items such as playing cards, board games, books, drawing and writing supplies

Stay in Touch

  • Have one non-portable phone that will work even if power is interrupted.
  • Plan where to meet and how to communicate with family members if separated.
  • Keep essential family member contact information near your phone, in your wallet, and in your glove compartment.