Power Outage​

Hazard rank in the 2021 Clinton County Hazard Mitigation Plan (1 highest priority to 16 lowest priority): 2 (Utility Failure).​

Extended power outages may impact the whole community and the economy. A power outage is when the electrical power goes out unexpectedly.

A power outage may: 

  • Disrupt communications, water and transportation.

  • Close retail businesses, grocery stores, gas stations, ATMs, banks and other services.

  • Cause food spoilage and water contamination.

  • Prevent use of medical devices.

BEFORE a Power Outage

Take an inventory of the items you need that rely on electricity. Plan for batteries and other alternative power sources to meet your needs when the power goes out, such as a portable charger or power bank. Have flashlights for every household member. Determine whether your home phone will work in a power outage and how long battery backup will last.

To prepare for a blackout or power outage, you should do the following.

  • To begin preparing, you should update or build an emergency kit and make a family plan.

  • If you are not signed up for free severe weather and emergency alerts, sign up now.

  • Follow energy conservation measures to keep the use of electricity as low as possible, which can help power companies avoid imposing rolling blackouts.

  • Fill plastic containers with water and place them in the refrigerator and freezer, if there’s room. Leave about an inch of space inside each one, because water expands as it freezes. This chilled or frozen water will help keep food cold during a temporary power outage.

  • Be aware that most medication that requires refrigeration can be kept in a closed refrigerator for several hours without a problem. If unsure, check with your physician or pharmacist.

  • Keep your gas tank in your vehicle at least half full because gas stations rely on electricity to power their pumps.

  • Know where the manual release lever of your electric garage opener is located and know how to operate it. Garage doors can be heavy, so know that you may need help to lift it.

  • Keep a key to your house with you if you regularly use the garage as the primary means of entering your home, in case the garage door will not open.

DURING a Power Outage

  • Keep freezers and refrigerators closed.

  • Use a generator, but ONLY outdoors and away from windows.

  • Do not use a gas stove or oven to heat your home.

  • Disconnect appliances and electronics to avoid damage from electrical surges.

  • Have alternate plans for refrigerating medicines or using power-dependent medical devices.

  • Check with local officials about heating and cooling locations open near you.

How to Protect Yourself During a Power Outage:

Go to a community location with power if heat or cold is extreme.

Know Your Medical Needs

Talk to your medical provider about a power outage plan for medical devices powered by electricity and refrigerated medicines. Find out how long medication can be stored at higher temperatures and get specific guidance for any medications that are critical for life.

Food Storage

Have enough nonperishable food and water. Keep freezers and refrigerators closed. The refrigerator will keep food cold for about four hours. A full freezer will keep the temperature for about 48 hours. Use coolers with ice if necessary. Monitor temperatures with a thermometer. Throw out food if the temperature is 40 degrees or higher.

Using Appliances During Power Outages

Install carbon monoxide detectors with battery backup in central locations on every level of your home. Avoid carbon monoxide poisoning. Generators, camp stoves or charcoal grills should always be used outdoors and at least 20 feet away from windows. Never use a gas stovetop or oven to heat your home. Turn off or disconnect appliances, equipment, or electronics. Power may return with momentary surges or spikes that can cause damage.

Returning AFTER a Power Outage

  • When in doubt, throw it out! Throw away any food that has been exposed to temperatures 40 degrees or higher for two hours or more, or that has an unusual odor, color or texture.

  • If the power is out for more than a day, discard any medication that should be refrigerated, unless the drug’s label says otherwise. Consult your doctor or pharmacist immediately for a new supply.

Resources

Clinton County Utility Outage Assessment (PDF).

Ohio Power Outage Status (Link).

Clinton County Power Outage Status (Link).

AES (formerly DP&L) Outage Map (Link).

Duke Energy Outage Map (Link).

Generator Safety (Link).

Power Outage Tip Sheet (PDF).

Food Safety (USDA).