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Power Outage Preparedness
Power outages in Blaine County can vary from a few minutes to a few days or more. Planning for and being prepared for longer power outages will help you stay safe and more comfortable. This page provides basic safety tips, as well as how and what to do before, during and after a power outage.
If you experience a power outage, call Idaho Power at 800-488-6151 or view Idaho Power for updated outage information.
Before A Power Outage
- Build or restock your emergency preparedness kit, including a flashlight, batteries, cash, and first aid supplies.
- Make sure you have alternative charging methods for your phone or any device that requires power. For more information visit: Get Tech Ready
- Charge cell phones and any battery powered devices.
- Know where the manual release lever of your electric garage door opener is located and how to operate it.
- Purchase ice or freeze water-filled plastic containers to help keep food cold during a temporary power outage.
- Keep your car’s gas tank full-gas stations rely on electricity to power their pumps. If you use your car to re-charge devices, do NOT keep the car running in a garage, partially enclosed space, or close to a home, this can lead to carbon monoxide poisoning.
- Learn about the emergency plans that have been established in your area by visiting your state’s or local website so you can locate the closest cooling and warming shelters.
- If you rely on anything that is battery-operated or power dependent like a medical device determine a back-up plan. For more planning information tips visit: Seniors and Individuals with Disabilities and Others with Access and Functional Needs
- Keep some cash on hand. You can’t use credit cards when the power is out.
During A Power Outage
- Battery powered flashlights for emergency lighting are preferred over candles which can cause fires.
- Keep refrigerator and freezer doors closed. Most food requiring refrigeration can be kept safely in a closed refrigerator for several hours. An unopened refrigerator will keep food cold for about 4 hours. A full freezer will keep the temperature for about 48 hours. For more information about food safety visit this food page.
- Take steps to remain cool if it is hot outside. In intense heat when the power may be off for a long time, consider going to a movie theater, shopping mall or “cooling shelter” that may be open in your community. If you remain at home, move to the lowest level of your home, since cool air falls. Wear lightweight, light-colored clothing. Drink plenty of water, even if you do not feel thirsty.
- Put on layers of warm clothing if it is cold outside. Never burn charcoal for heating or cooking indoors. Never use your oven as a source of heat. If the power may be out for a prolonged period, plan to go to another location (the home of a relative or friend, or a public facility) that has heat to keep warm.
- Turn off all appliances and equipment in use when the power goes out, (including the furnace/air conditioner) except for one light. When this light comes on, it will be your signal power has been restored. Turning off everything else will help protect your appliances against voltage fluctuations that may happen if a circuit overloads when power is restored.
- Once power has been restored, wait 30 minutes and begin turning home appliances and lighting back on in 10-minute intervals. These precautions help circuits from overloading when power is restored. Such precautions will allow larger sections of power lines to be energized and facilitate a faster and less complicated power restoration.
- If you are considering purchasing a generator for your home, consult an electrician or engineer before purchasing and installing.
- Only use generators away from your home and never run a generator inside a home or garage, or connect it to your home’s electrical system.
After A Power Outage
- Throw away any food that has been exposed to temperatures 40 degrees Fahrenheit (4 degrees Celsius) for 2 hours or more or that has an unusual odor, color or texture. When in doubt, throw it out!
- If food in the freezer is colder than 40 degrees Fahrenheit and has ice crystals on it, you can refreeze it.
- Contact your doctor if you’re concerned about medications having spoiled.
- Restock your emergency kit with fresh batteries, canned foods and other supplies.