Here's your outage planning to-do list.
Know where your electric equipment is in your home.
- Circuit breakers. This should be the first thing you check in an outage. Find it, then flip all of your breakers to the off position and back to the on position, just so you know how to do that in advance.
- Meters. The next thing you check. Know where your meter is and what it looks like when it’s working. If you have an outage and the display is blank, that means there is no power getting to the meter and you should report an outage. If you have multiple meters, write down the meter number (center of the meter) and where they serve (e.g. garage, house, shop). Knowing where your metering is and what it serves may reduce the time it takes Avista to analyze and repair your outage.
Keep emergency supplies in one place.
Supplies should include:
- Flashlights with fresh batteries
- Portable, battery-powered radio
- Wind-up or battery-powered clock
- Water and nonperishable food
- Manual can opener
- Non-cordless phone to plug in during outages, or a cell phone with battery back-up
Practice using devices manually.
Take time in advance to understand how things you use every day work without power, such as:
- Garage doors
- Security doors
- Electric gates
Install surge protectors.
Pay particular attention to more sensitive electronics, including:
Maintain fire alarm batteries.
- Replace the batteries in your fire alarms and carbon monoxide detectors every few months, even ones hard-wired to your home's electrical system.
Know the operating requirements of your gas appliances.
- During outages, ignitions in appliances like gas stoves won't work because electricity is needed to ignite the natural gas.
- Appliances that require electric fans, like central heating units and gas clothes dryers, won't operate.
Prepare your home medical equipment.
If you have medical needs that require special equipment
- Plan for a worst-case scenario, like a long power interruption.
- Research portable generators.
- Make a plan with friends or relatives.
You planned. When the outage happens, you're ready. Watch a quick video to learn safety best practices when the lights go out. Watch now.