Tip of the Month: Don't Be in the Dark About Power Outages

The Safety Tip of the Month is provided by U.Va.'s Office of Emergency Preparedness on the 11th of every month.

February 11, 2012 — Power outages can be associated with snow, excessive heat, heavy winds and rain, but can occur at anytime. They can knock out traffic lights, shut down airports, disable telephone systems and bring electronic transactions to a halt.


Since power outages interrupt your life the most when you are unprepared, being informed and having supplies ready can lessen the impact of an outage.

If you know a power outage is possible:

• Be sure your emergency kit is fully stocked. It should have extra batteries and battery-operated flashlights.

• Prepare your electronic equipment before a power disruption by backing up computer files and unplugging equipment.

• If you have a generator, be sure it is ready, fueled and safe. (See generator tips) ]

• If you live off Grounds, know who provides your power. It is likely one of the following:

• Dominion Power: 1-888-667-3000
• Central Virginia Electric Coop: 1-800-367-2832
• Rappahannock Electric Coop: 1-800-552-3904
• Appalachian Power: 1-800-956-4237

If the power goes out:

• If using alternative means of heat, be sure to use only as directed and monitor it closely. Never heat an enclosed structure with an open flame. (See heating safety)

• Be smart when the power is out. Use flashlights, not candles. Operate your generator according to the manufacturer's instructions. And listen to the radio to stay informed.

• Unplug electrical equipment. Leave one light turned on so you know when the power is back.

• Keep your food safe during a power outage. (See food tips in power outages)

• Listen to battery-operated radios to stay informed of conditions.

You can watch a detailed video on causes of power outages at the Dominion Power website. For information, click here or contact the Office of Emergency Preparedness at 434-982-0565 or uvaoep@virginia.edu.

Media Contact

Marge Sidebottom

U.Va. Director Of Emergency Preparedness