Outage Preparation

When Power Goes Out

Here’s what you need to know if your power does go out:

  • Be prepared for outages, particularly during storms or severe weather such as wind and heat – more information on emergency preparedness can be found here. (If you or anyone in your household is a member of our Green Cross program or depends on medically operated equipment 24 hours per day, please plan to have a backup supply of power.)
  • First, check to see if power is out throughout your home or business. If not, check your circuit breaker box to see if a switch has tripped or your fuse box to see if a fuse has blown. Then, look for lights on in your neighbors' homes.
  • Our Outage Center on nvenergy.com is your best source of information. It will provide up to date information as available on the:
    • Location of an outage
    • Number of outages
    • Number of customers impacted
    • Estimated time of restoration or ETR
    • Preliminary cause of an outage
    • Updated cause of an outage if applicable
    • Crew status (TBD)
  • Keep your refrigerators and freezers closed to keep your food as fresh as possible. If unopened and full, food can last for two days. If you must eat food that was refrigerated or frozen, check it carefully for signs of spoilage.

    Frozen food: If your freezer is full, food will stay frozen for about two days. If it is less than half full, food will stay frozen for about one day. Cover the freezer with blankets, quilts or sleeping bags to further insulate the freezer and help food stay frozen longer. After power is restored, check all frozen foods to determine the extent of thawing. Dispose of any food that is discolored or smells spoiled. If in doubt, throw it out.

    Refrigerated food: To avoid losing the cold air in your refrigerator, don't open doors unnecessarily. Meat and fish spoil quickly at temperatures above 40 degrees F. Other quick-spoiling foods include milk, custards, creamed foods and any foods containing mayonnaise or eggs. Cooked and cured meat will keep for several days in a closed refrigerator. Hard cheeses keep well, even at room temperature. Again, if in doubt, throw it out. You might also try placing bags of ice in the refrigerator, or place food in a cooler or ice chest.
  • Turn off or disconnect any appliances or electronics you were using when the power went out. Unplug your computer to avoid the possibility of surge damage when the power returns. More tips to protect your computer and electronics.
  • If you're cold, put on layers of warm clothing. Never burn charcoal for heating or cooking indoors. Charcoal briquettes produce carbon monoxide. Odorless and colorless, a buildup of carbon monoxide can be deadly.
  • Leave one light turned on so you'll know when your power returns.

Preparing for Potential Outages

Wind, snow, extreme heat or a car colliding with a utility pole can cause unexpected power outages. While we can't control these events, we want to make sure you are prepared if the lights go out.

Put together an outage kit with items that may be useful in other emergency situations as well. Store these items in a water-tight container:

  • Bottled water - one gallon per person per day in the household (Most emergency preparedness experts recommend having a three-day supply on hand.)
  • Ready-to-eat foods and manual can opener.
  • Flashlight - Keep a flashlight and extra batteries handy. Do not use candles in a power outage or other emergency. Camp lights and lanterns may also be useful, however, do not use kerosene lanterns indoors unless you have proper ventilation.
  • Battery-operated radio, clock, and extra batteries.
  • Blankets.
  • First aid kit.
  • Order a glow-in-the-dark sticker with our phone number to keep with your kit since your phone may be the best way to communicate during an outage. Here are some tips to remember:

    Make sure your cell phone number is listed on your account with us. Then, sign up for outage information through MyAccount. We’ll send information to your cell phone in the event of an outage. This will also speed service, enabling you to quickly report a power outage and get updates.
  • Protecting your home computer and other electronics:

    If you have a home computer, it's a good idea to protect your work before any outage. Rule one is to remember to save your files regularly. Auto-save back-up programs will do the work for you and are available at any computer store.

    Consider a surge protector for your home computer and other electronics such as TVs, DVRs, DVD players, home entertainment systems, stereos and other similar electronics. Don't confuse a power strip with a surge protector - good surge protectors (also known as transitory volt suppresser) cost about $25, and they will protect your computer and other electronics from surges associated with any sort of power disturbance.

    Surge protectors are available at most office supply, computer and home improvement stores. You might also want to consider an uninterruptible power supply (UPS). A UPS is a battery back-up system that supplies power for about 15 minutes - long enough for you to save all work and shut the computer down. You can find a UPS at most office supply or computer stores. Make sure it is UL-1778 listed, and be aware that you may not be able to power a printer or copier at the same time.
  • If someone in your house is on life support, have a backup plan.
  • Cordless phones require electricity and won't work during an outage.
  • Review safety rules for portable generators if you own one.
  • Learn how to override your electric garage door opener.
  • Get outage updates on your smartphone at MyAccount at nvenergy.com.
  • Build and maintain contact lists and social networks. This way, you can stay informed and communicate with your friends and family.