With the hot weather and high electricity usage in the summer, California is prone to having power outages. There are also other factors aside from hot weather that cause power outages, such as problems at power stations or damage to equipment. Last summer, we experienced multiple power outages in Long Beach alone!
When Power Goes Out
The Consumer Energy Center provides tips to keep in mind on how to respond to a power outage.
- Check if you are the only one without power. If you are, check your fuse box for tripped switches of blown fuses. If that seems to be the problem, reset the breaker or replace the fuse. If that does not solve the problem, call your local electricity company.
- If there are downed power lines in your neighborhood, call 9-1-1 and DO NOT go near the lines. Remember, call 9-1-1 only for emergencies or if someone is injured or in danger.
- Avoid a power surge when electricity returns by turning off computers, TVs, and other electronics at the power strip.
- Drink plenty of water. It is important to stay hydrated, especially with the warm weather. Always have bottles of water at home, especially if you rely on your refrigerator for water.
- Avoid opening your refrigerator and freezer. Opening your refrigerator and freezer will let the cold air out, causing perishable food to go bad faster. Leaving them closed will allow food to stay cold for hours. DO NOT eat food from your refrigerator if you haven't had power for more than a day.
- DO NOT use candles for a source of light. Candles are a fire hazard. Stick to flashlights. It would be a good idea to keep flashlights around the house with a fresh set of batteries.
Things to Keep Around the House
Since power outages in California occur more often than we like, here are some things to keep around your home so you won't be left in the dark.
- Bottles of water. If you rely on your refrigerator for drinking water, this is important.
- Flashlights are good to keep around the house with fresh batteries.
- A charged battery pack for your cellphone. This will help you keep your cell phones charged so you have a means of communication.
Keep these tips in mind so you're prepared for the next time a power outage occurs.