Weather Center

Know What to Do When the Lights Go Out

By James Mayfield 2.11.15

During the past two decades, the number of weather-related major power outages in the U.S. has skyrocketed. In just the past two years, about one in four U.S. adults suffered through an outage lasting a whopping 12 hours or more, according to a Harris Poll survey.

Knowing it’s just a matter of time before the next one hits your home, here’s what to do when you’re left in the dark, according to, FEMA’s preparedness website:

Don’t light candles due to extreme risk of fire.

Do use flashlights, battery-operated lanterns, or even headlamps to get you where you’re going safely.

Don’t fire up the grill or fuel-powered generators inside your home or garage, where carbon monoxide emissions can be deadly. Never use the oven as a source for heat.

Do keep the fridge doors closed as much as possible to keep food, liquids, and medications fresher longer.

Don’t hook up a generator to your home’s electrical system

Do connect equipment directly to the outlets on the generator.

Don’t leave electrical items such as appliances, equipment, and electronic devices plugged in and at risk for damage from power surges and spikes.

Do leave one light “on” to alert you to when the power returns.

Don’t attempt to walk or drive around until storm debris has been cleared.

Do listen to a battery-operated, portable radio so you know when the coast is clear.

Dennis Smith, Texas Farm Bureau Insurance agency manager in Dallas County adds, “Today, with everyone having mobile phones, be sure to keep them charged daily, ready for the unexpected. If the power goes out in your home during a storm, you can get weather alerts and make an emergency phone call even when your electrical power is out.”

Coverage and discounts are subject to qualifications and policy terms and may vary by situation. © 2015 Texas Farm Bureau Insurance