General Tips for When the Power Goes Out

In the Winter

  1. Make sure you have alternative charging methods for your phone. For more information, click here.
  2. Know where the manual release lever of your electric garage door opener is located and how to operate it.
  3. Purchase ice or freeze water-filled plastic containers to help keep food cold during a temporary power outage.
  4. Keep your car’s gas tank full. Gas stations rely on electricity to power their pumps.
  5. If you rely on anything that is battery-operated or power dependent like a medical device, create a back-up plan. For more planning information tips visit:
  6. Turn off or disconnect appliances and other equipment in case of a momentary power “surge” that can damage computers and other devices. Consider adding surge protectors.
  7. 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. 


  • Use flashlights for emergency lighting. Candles can cause fires.
  • 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.
  • 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. Click here for more information about generator use and safety.
  • 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.

Click here for more information on what to do before and after a power outage.



Hayley Riach

An Aero Methow Rescue Service Program