Power Outages

When the Power Fails, Are You Ready?

Extreme weather events are the main cause of power outages and a constant hazard to the nation’s energy system. Due to climate change, future extreme events that can cause power outages are projected to be more frequent and last longer!

A power outage occurs when the electrical power goes out. Planned or unexpected, it can last for days or longer, disrupting communications, water, transportation, stores, banks and other services. This may impact needs such as lighting, heating, cooling, communication, food and medicine refrigeration, cooking and medical equipment. Plan now to have what you need and to know how to stay safe.


If you’re in a power outage-prone area, create an emergency plan that includes what to do if you lose power!

Here are some things you can do to start preparing for a power outage:
Stay connected and alert. Sign up for alerts and warnings. Sign up for Detroit Alerts 365. Have communication devices that work without home power, including a crank or battery radio, a non-cordless home phone, chargers/batteries for your cell phones and your computers.

Stock food and water. Store non-perishable food and water supplies for at least two weeks. Plan to use coolers and ice to extend food refrigeration and keep a thermometer in the fridge, freezer or cooler to monitor the food temperature. Don't forget to include your pets and discuss your pet emergency kit for your companion animals.

Know and plan for your personal and medical electrical needs. Take an inventory of your electrical needs. Consider both back up and non-power alternatives for lighting, communication, medical devices and refrigerated medicine, cooking, garage doors, locks and elevators. Discuss a plan with your primary care or medical device providers for your medical needs.

Plan for heating or cooling your home. Use methods such as sealing around windows to insulate your home. If the weather is very hot or very cold, plan to go to a location with air conditioning or with heat. Never use a generator, outdoor stoves or heaters indoors.

Install smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms. Install smoke alarms with battery backup on every floor, inside and outside sleeping areas. Test monthly. Make sure that you have one carbon monoxide detector on each level of your home.

Plan for surge protection. Make sure that you have current surge protectors for household electronics.

Plan how to decide to stay or go. Plan how and when you will evacuate safely to maintain needs such as power-dependent medical devices. Keep your car gas tank at least half full.

Helpful Resources:



Making a Plan