Power Outage

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When the power is out for a long period of time, citizen requests for fire, police, medical and other public services increase. At some point, the increased demand for services could result in delayed response times.

For this reason, every citizen should learn to be self-reliant in an emergency. Even though power outages may only last a few hours, individuals and organizations should be prepared to be without assistance for 72 hours or longer.

Power Outage Tips

  • Check your home's circuit breakers or fuses first. 
  • Contact the local electric utility to report an outage.
  • Stay at least 10 feet away from power lines on the ground as electricity might still be flowing through the lines.
  • Unplug appliances and computers, if possible, and turn off non-essential lights.
  • Keep refrigerator and freezer doors closed as much as possible. Refrigerated foods should remain safe to eat for four hours. Food in a closed freezer can stay frozen for up to two days. If in doubt, throw it out.
  • Add dry or block ice to the freezer to help keep food frozen. Never add dry ice with your bare hands or place directly on top of food.
  • Discontinue non-essential water usage. Do not drink cloudy or dirty water. Notify water officials of low or no water pressure.
  • Stay cool indoors and drink plenty of fluids on hot days.
  • Check on elderly or medically dependent neighbors.
  • Make arrangements for a back-up power supply for life support equipment.
  • Establish independent, short-term power supplies such as generators or battery operated devices. If you own a generator, never plug it into any electrical outlet in your home. Instead, plug appliances directly into the generator.
  • Monitor battery operated radio or television for current information on the outage.
  • Cordless phones will not function during an outage.
  • Know how to manually release and open any electric doors, like garage doors.
  • Find out the steps needed to take to open and close security gates.
  • Ensure house numbers are readily visible from the street.
  • Treat intersections as four-way stops when traffic lights are out.
San Marcos Fire Department Battalion Chief
1 Civic Center Drive
San Marcos, CA 92069
(760) 744-1050, ext. 3410
Scott Hansen
(760) 744-1050, ext. 3405