If the Lights Go Out

If you have information about the location of a downed tree or power problem, please call us at 1-877-PUD-8123 (1-877-783-8123).

Here are a few tips for dealing with outages:

  • Stay away from any fallen power lines, including lines that are sagging or broken. Don’t cut up fallen trees that are entangled in power lines. The safe thing to do is assume all power lines are live and can kill if touched.
  • If a downed power line falls on your car, stay in your car and dial 911 immediately if you have a cell phone. If you can't call 911, and passers-by are near, honk your horn, lower your window, and alert them of your situation. Warn them to stay away, not to touch the vehicle and ask them to dial 911.
  • Turn off your furnace, appliances and all but one light. Turn off the circuit breaker to your hot water heater. Wait 10 minutes after power is restored before turning these items back on. This reduces the strain on the system as it picks up the waiting electrical load when power comes back on, and can help prevent a much longer outage.
  • Know how to manually open your garage door if you have an automatic opener.
  • Keep a cell phone or one corded phone to make and receive calls. Most cordless phones won't work without power.
  • Unplug all electronic equipment such as TVs, microwave ovens, computers, stereos, and the garage door opener. The process of restoring power can cause voltage fluctuations that might damage sensitive electronics.
  • Keep flashlights, candles, matches, battery-operated radios, extra batteries and canned and dried foods handy. Have an emergency kit packed and ready.
  • Always exercise extreme caution if you use candles or oil lamps. Never leave them unattended and keep them away from furniture, drapes, and other flammable materials.
  • Keep your refrigerator and freezer closed as much as possible. Refrigerated foods that have been stored above 40 degrees for less than two hours are safe. If they have been held for more than two hours above 40 degrees, they should be discarded. Exceptions include hard cheeses, butter and margarine, fresh fruits, fruit juice, ketchup, mustard, olives, pickles, jams, jellies and peanut butter.
  • Stay warm. Choose a small room with few windows as your emergency living quarters. Keep the windows, drapes, and doors closed. Dress warmly. Wear several layers of clothes and a hat.
  • Conserve water, especially in areas where well pumps and pumping stations may be without power.
  • Don’t try to power your house by plugging a portable generator into a wall outlet. The generator will backfeed electricity through the meter and out into the neighborhood, which will cause a severe safety hazard to neighbors and line workers.
  • If using a portable generator, make sure the appliances being powered are plugged directly to the generator or make sure your home is disconnected from the PUD’s electric system with a transfer switch installed by a licensed electrician.
  • More information about back-up generators
  • Do not use fuel-burning devices, like gasoline-powered generators, gasoline-powered pressure washers, camp stoves and lanterns, or charcoal grills in homes, garages, or any other confined space such as attics or crawl spaces, or within 10 feet of windows, doors or other air intakes. Using these items in your home can produce carbon monoxide, which can be deadly.