Power Outage Tips
During a storm it is common for a tree branch to come down and pull the meter can away from your home. The meter can must be reattached by a licensed electrician before Westar can restore service. Customer responsibilities.
Around your home
- Turn off all appliances, including your furnace, air conditioner, water heater, and water pump. Leave on one lamp to know when power has been restored. That way, you can avoid a circuit overload and another outage that may result when power is restored to all appliances at once.
- Do NOT open your refrigerator or freezer unless necessary.
- Do NOT use a propane or charcoal grill in your house.
- (During hot weather) Close drapes and blinds on the sunny side of your house, drink plenty of fluids, take your pets to a cool basement location, and go to an air-conditioned civic center, mall or library if necessary to stay cool.
- (During cold weather) Make use of sunshine for heat, if available, by opening blinds or window coverings in your home during the day and closing them at night. Run a small stream of water from your faucets to keep your pipes from freezing.
- Stay away from power lines and tree limbs. The weight of ice or snow can cause them to break.
If you use a generator during a power outage, keep in mind the following safety practices:
- DO NOT connect to your home's electrical panel or plug directly into a wall outlet. The correct way to connect a generator to house wiring is to have a certified electrician install a power transfer switch.
- Follow manufacturer's instructions for operation.
- Never use a portable generator indoors. This includes partially-enclosed areas such as a garage.
- Place the generator away from windows or doors that could allow CO to come indoors
- Don't overload your generator.
- Keep the refrigerator and freezer doors closed as much as possible to maintain cold.
- The refrigerator will keep food safely cold for about 4 hours if it is unopened. A full freezer will hold the temperature for approximately 48 hours (24 hours if it is half full) if the door remains closed.
- Discard refrigerated perishable food such as meat, poultry, fish, soft cheeses, milk eggs, leftovers and deli items after 4 hours without power.
- Never taste food to determine its safety!
- Freeze containers of water for ice to help keep food cold in the freezer or refrigerator after the power is out.
- Freeze refrigerated items such as leftovers, milk, fresh meat and poultry that you may not need immediately - this helps keep them at a safe temperature longer.
- Store food on shelves that will be safely out of the way of contaminated water in case of flooding.
- Have coolers on hand to keep refrigerator food cold if the power will be out for more than 4 hours. Purchase or make ice cubes and store in the freezer for use in the refrigerator or in a cooler. Freeze gel packs ahead of time for use in coolers.
- Group food together in the freezer - this helps the food stay cold longer.
- Know where dry ice and block ice can be purchased. Fifty pounds of dry ice should hold an 18-cubic-foot full freezer for 2 days.
- If the power has been out for several days, check the temperature of the freezer with an appliance thermometer. If the appliance thermometer reads 40 degrees or below, the food is safe to refreeze.
- Drink only bottled water if flooding has occurred.
- Discard any food that is not in a waterproof container if there is any chance that it has come into contact with flood water. Discard wooden cutting boards, plastic utensils, baby bottle nipples and pacifiers.
- Thoroughly wash all metal pans, ceramic dishes and utensils that came in contact with flood water with hot soapy water and sanitize by boiling them in clean water or by immersing them for 15 minutes in a solution of 1 tablespoon of unscented, liquid chlorine bleach per gallon of drinking water.
- When in Doubt, Throw it Out!