Weather storms more easily by preparing ahead of time. Once the power is out, you may not be able to view our safety tips, so download a copy of our reference, The Storm Guide (PDF), print it out, and have it handy when storms are on the horizon. In the meantime, review the safety tips below and stock up on necessities.
Hurricane watch? Review our tips for warm-weather storms.
If the lights go out, check with your neighbors. Are their lights out, too? If not, check your fuses and circuit breakers. If you are experiencing an outage, call CMP’s hotline to report your service interruption: 1-800-696-1000. Have your account number handy.
Downed Power Lines
Always stay away from downed power lines. Even lines that appear dead can be deadly. CMP customers should call 1-800-696-1000 to report downed power lines or other hazardous situations.
Stay out of flooded basements because energized wiring or outlets below the water line may pose a hazard. If your basement or home is in danger of flooding, contact CMP to turn off your electricity.
- Keep flashlights, a battery-powered radio and fresh batteries handy.
- Have at least one telephone that is not dependent on electricity. (Cordless phones won’t work during a power interruption.)
- Keep a supply of non-perishable food and bottled water on hand.
- If you have a cell phone, make sure the battery is fully charged.
- Contact neighbors to see if their power is off. You may have simply blown a fuse or tripped a circuit breaker.
- If your basement or home is in danger of flooding, contact CMP to turn off your electricity.
- Never enter a flooded basement or home until electricity has been turned off.
- Listen to a battery-powered radio for weather and power restoration updates.
- Turn off major appliances (electric water heaters, refrigerators and freezers) and sensitive electronic equipment (TVs, VCRs, DVD players, computers, stereos) to prevent overloading and possible damage when power is restored. Turning off this equipment may mean that you have to unplug it, turn off the circuit breaker or remove the fuse for the circuit in your home that provides power to this equipment. Leave one light switch on so you’ll know when power has been restored.
- Emergency generators can be dangerous. If you use one, carefully follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Never run an emergency generator indoors; operate generators only outdoors in well-ventilated areas. Make sure your generator has a double-throw switch, so there is no electrical connection between your home and CMP. Before you start the generator, check that all wires are properly grounded. Be sure to pull the main fuses or turn off the main circuit breaker. This will protect your home from damage—and keep CMP lineworkers safe.
- Don’t use a natural gas or propane range to heat your home.
- Never use a grill or stove intended for use outdoors in your home.
- Keep your refrigerator and freezer closed as much as possible. Most food will last 24 hours if you minimize the opening of refrigerator and freezer doors.
After Your Power is Restored
- If your basement or home was flooded, have an electrician check your home and have a plumbing and heating contractor check natural gas appliances before contacting CMP to have services turned on.
- Turn on appliances and sensitive electronic equipment one at a time to avoid overloading your circuits.
- Replenish emergency supplies used during the storm.