Ready · Set · Safe: Planning Ahead for Emergencies

Emergency kitNo one can predict an emergency or a power outage—but you can lessen the impact to your comfort and safety by thinking ahead.

Consider the following suggestions, which can help you as crews work to restore power during an outage.

If The Power Goes Out

  • Check your electrical panel. Look for tripped breakers or blown fuses. Replace blown fuses and try to reset the breakers by switching them off, then on.
  • Call PSREC’s 24-hour phone numbers: (530) 832- 4261 or (800) 555-2207. Keep calling until you speak with someone. Remember to report any flashes, bangs or trees in power lines. This can help crews locate damage.
  • Turn on an outside light. As power is restored, workers can see the progress.
  • Unplug any sensitive electronic equipment. Turn off electric devices in use at the time of the outage, such as televisions, stereos, clothing irons, power tools, etc.
  • Let repair crews do their job. It is tempting to stop crews and ask questions about the outage. This will only delay the repair. While the crews want to be helpful, they need to restore your power quickly and safely.


  • Never approach a downed power line. Call 911 to report a downed line, and keep others away.
  • Guard against carbon monoxide poisoning, which can be lethal. Carbon monoxide is a tasteless, odorless, deadly gas. It is present in automobile exhaust, and is a byproduct when using other fuel-consuming devices, such as portable generators, non-electric heaters, camp stoves and grills. Do not use carbon monoxide-emitting devices inside a home, garage, basement, crawl space or any other enclosed space.
  • Install smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Check batteries on the installed devices the first of every month. Replace depleted batteries immediately. If an alarm sounds on either device, immediately move all household occupants to fresh air. Call 911 if an emergency exists.


  • Flashlight: Keep at least one flashlight in a central, easy-to-reach location. Store an extra set of batteries nearby. If the flashlight is rarely used, store batteries separately to prevent battery corrosion and damage to the flashlight.
  • Radio: A battery-powered or hand-cranked radio is valuable for information and entertainment.
  • Phone: Cordless landline phones do not work without power. Keep a corded phone for emergency use. These phones have a cord connecting the receiver to the base. A well-charged cell phone might work. Battery life determines how long you will be able to use the cell phone, so restrict calls to necessary ones.
  • Water: If your water supply is from a well or cistern, the pump will not be able to deliver water during an outage. Store 1 gallon of water per person, per day. Storage should be in a location not susceptible to freezing. Old refrigerators, ice chests or inexpensive styrofoam coolers can offer some protection from freezing.
  • Food: Have a nonelectric can opener and a stock of easy-to-prepare foods, such as canned soups, prepared beans, chili, stews, protein bars and canned fruit. Choose some foods that are palatable if they need to be eaten cold.
  • Medical needs: If a household member uses electric-powered life-sustaining equipment, have a backup plan for outages. If PSREC is not aware of the equipment in use, notify the utility of your special needs. Certain situations can create extended outages, so be prepared to move to another location where electricity is available. Have an ample supply of over-the-counter and prescription medications on hand. Maintain a first-aid kit. Post the poison control phone number, (800) 222- 1222, in the first-aid kit and post it with other emergency numbers.
  • Automobiles: Keep vehicle fuel tanks at least half full during winter.
  • Pipes: Use heat tape to thaw exposed, frozen pipes. Know your equipment. Have a backup plan to keep pump houses, stock tanks and temperature-sensitive supplies from freezing.