My Power Just Went Out — What Should I Do?

There’s never a “good” for a power outage; it’s always when you’re with your family, cooking dinner, or just trying to unwind. However, if your routine has been disrupted by a surprise shut-down of your appliances, HVAC system, and plugged-in electronics, don’t panic — Colonial Generators is here to help!

We’ve helped countless households and businesses with their energy needs and understand the importance of having power for everything from internet connectivity and temperature control to refrigerated medical supplies and beyond. If you’re facing a power outage, follow our tips below:

Confirm Your Power Is Out

This may seem like a moot point; everything shut off out of nowhere — it must be a power outage, right? Well, not necessarily. There are a few straightforward ways to ensure you’re actually experiencing a power outage and not another type of electrical complication:

  • Look outside to see if the streetlights are on or if your neighbors have power. Power can be lost in a hyper-localized area. For instance, houses served by the same pole-mounted power transformer will be dark, while other homes next door are fully lit.
  • See if the power is out in every room of the house; you may have just tripped one of the switches. If so, simply turn it back on to restore power.
  • If you have a prepaid electricity plan, your provider may have disconnected your service if there weren’t funds in the account.

Contact Your Utility Company

Call your utility company — not your energy provider — if your neighborhood is experiencing an outage. Your provider oversees your energy plan, but your utility company is responsible for restoring services in the midst of power outages, if there are damaged power lines, or electrical emergencies must be tended to.

Turn Off Your Appliances

You may be wondering what the point of turning your appliances off is when the power is out. In fact, there are several good reasons to do so:

  • When power eventually returns after a period of time, a power surge could damage sensitive equipment such as laptops or televisions
  • You may have forgotten that you had your burner or iron on. If you are out of the house after power has been restored, you could have a severe safety hazard on your hands.
  • Restarting appliances can use nearly double the amount of electricity they use when operating normally. When main switches are re-energized, widespread power demands can cause circuit breakers to trip.

What to Do in a Power Outage: Other Helpful Tips

  • Use flashlights as a primary light source: In the event of a power outage, illuminating your home with candles introduces a new hazard into the mix. In fact, the National Fire Protection Association warns that fire departments across the nation respond to over 8,000 home fires annually that start from candles. If you must use a candle, do not leave it unattended and do not fall asleep while it’s lit.
  • Keep your freezer and refrigerator closed: Opening your freezer or fridge releases lots of cold air that would otherwise preserve your food.
  • Do not use a gas stove or oven to heat your home: While it may seem like a crafty way to stay warm, doing so creates an extremely dangerous environment for you and yours.

My Power Just Came Back On. Now What Should I Do?

  • When in doubt, throw it out! A refrigerator will keep food cold for around four hours, while a full freezer will hold its temperature for about 48. If you find the temperature to be 40 degrees Fahrenheit or below, discard the food.
  • If the power was out for more than 24 hours, discard medication that should be refrigerated unless the label says otherwise. Consult your doctor or pharmacist as soon as possible for a new supply.
  • Reset your thermostats. Even if your HVAC system seems fine, your thermostat will most likely have reset itself to its default settings, which can result in an unpleasant surprise when it comes time to pay your energy bill. 

How to Prepare for Emergency Outages

One way to be ready for a power outage is to assemble an emergency kit, which includes non-perishable food, bottled water, extra batteries, clothes, blankets, and medical supplies. Have flashlights set aside for every family member. You could also invest in a surge protector to ensure your appliances and electronics are protected. An even better way to safeguard you and your loved ones? Install a backup generator.

With a standby generator, wondering what to do in the event of a power outage will be a thing of the past; you’ll experience nearly uninterrupted power and benefit from everything you enjoy and rely on; including your heating and cooling system, big appliances, refrigerated medication, and more. A backup generator can also help ensure plumbing fixtures — such as tankless water heaters, sump pumps, and pipes — do not run into any complications or leave you with an expensive, unpleasant problem.

Our team is ready to help you and your family live life, uninterrupted. For more information about no credit check generator financing or how a generator safeguards you against future power emergencies, reach out to our team today!