Storm Season Safety: Before a Power Outage


When inclement weather affects a community, power may be interrupted. The California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES) reminds all Californians to be safe when without power during this storm season. 

Unplug Appliances 

When power is restored during an outage, there is the potential for an electrical surge that may damage appliances plugged into outlets. The risk for damage is especially high for sensitive electronic devices like computers, televisions and kitchen appliances. To prevent this, unplug sensitive appliances during a power outage.  

Food Storage 

Open freezers and refrigerators only when necessary. Your refrigerator can keep food cold for four hours. A full freezer will maintain temperature for two days. Use coolers with ice if necessary.  

Avoid Carbon Monoxide Poisoning 

Generators, camp stoves, or charcoal grills should always be used outdoors and at least 20 feet away from windows. Never use a gas stovetop or oven to heat your home. 

Generator Safety 

Many families use generators as an alternative power source when the lights go out. There are several steps to keep in mind when using a generator to keep your family safe.  

  • Never use a generator inside your home or garage, even if doors and windows are open.  
  • Only use generators outside, more than 20 feet away from your home, doors, and windows.  
  • Keep generators away from buildings and anything flammable, including dry brush.  
  • Keep generators dry and protected from rain and flooding.  
  • Install working carbon monoxide detectors on every level of your home.  

Downed Power Lines 

Your power may have gone out because of high winds or intense weather. If there are downed lines on your property that result in your power going out, report them immediately, do not go near them.  

Check on Your Neighbors 

Check on those in your community who may need extra help during an outage. Older adults and young children are particularly vulnerable to extreme temperatures that may coincide with a power outage.