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When power interruptions or blackouts occur, people lose their sources of light, heat and water. Safety is a concern in a power blackout situation.  A storm, an accident or widespread loss of electrical distribution system capacity can cause an extended power outage. Here are some things to do if you know there is a chance of power blackouts:

Getting Ready

  • If you use life-sustaining electrical equipment, pre-register with the special needs shelter.
  • Consider purchasing a small generator or know where to rent one if you use life-sustaining equipment that requires electrical power. 
  • Post the telephone number of the new construction, repairs and power outage listing of your local utility. 
  • If you own an electric garage door opener, learn how to open it without power. 
  • Prepare a power outage kit. For short outages, consider having glow light sticks, flashlights, battery-powered radio, extra batteries and a wind-up clock on hand. 
  • Make sure you have an alternate heat source and a supply of fuel. 
  • Have a corded phone available (cordless phones do not work without power). 
  • When installing large home generators, follow the manufacturer’s instructions and have it inspected by the utility company and the county inspection and code compliance department.
  • Unplug computers and other voltage sensitive equipment to protect them against possible surges (even if you have surge protectors) when power is restored.

When the Outage Could be Lengthy

  • Report power outages to your utility company.
  • Once you report your outage, do not use your telephone or cell phone. Phone lines are needed for emergency use.
  • If power is out in the neighborhood, disconnect electrical heaters/appliances to reduce demand and protect motors from low-voltage damage.
  • If you leave home, turn off or unplug heat-producing appliances.
  • Stay away from downed transmission lines and report them to your utility company.
  • Conserve water, especially if you are on a well.
  • Keep doors, windows and draperies closed to retain heat in your home if it is cold outside.
  • Keep refrigerator and freezer doors closed.
  • Be extremely careful of fire hazards from candles or other flammable light sources.
  • When using kerosene heaters, gas lanterns or stoves inside the house, maintain ventilation to avoid a build-up of toxic fumes.
  • If your house is not pre-wired for proper generator connection, connect lights and appliances directly to a generator, not an existing electrical system. 

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 Reporting Power Outages

Please do not call 911 to report power outages. Power outages should be reported to:

Gulf Power: 1-800-GU-POWER
(1-800-487-6937) or online.


Escambia River Electric Cooperative: 1-877-OUT-EREC 

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