The 7 Must-Do Things When the Power Goes Out in Philly

More severe summer storms are coming. Find out the things you need to know to recover faster and more safely when the power goes out in the Philadelpia area.

Be Prepared for a Power Outage in Philly

A power outage not only disrupts your entertainment but increasingly it can disrupt your whole life. Find out what you need to prepare for outages in Philadelphia!
A power outage in Philly disrupts your entire life. Check out our list of Must-Do Things that help you recover faster and more safely!

Storms rolled through southeast PA on August 8, cutting power to 27,000 PECO customers. It also darkened the homes of 19,000 PPL customers. With more hot summer days ahead, we’ll probably see more electricity outages in PA! But with everyone relying so much on electricity, what should you really pay attention to when the power goes out? That can be a big problem in a metro area like Philadelphia. Don’t worry further! We’ve researched and gathered the seven things to do when there’s a power outage in your home.

Must-Do #1: Report the Power Outage

If your power goes out, the first thing you want to do is check your breakers or fuses. It’s possible the problem could be due to your home wiring. If you find circuits are tripping frequently, call an electrician. If the breakers are fine but your power is still off, see if your neighbors have power. If they don’t then it’s time to report the outage. This will help PECO locate the problem faster.

Must-Do #2: Keep the Fridge Closed

Your fridge will only maintain its temperature for about 2 hours during an outage. Your freezer can stay cold for 24-48 hours. But that’s only if you keep the door closed. So to keep your food cold and safe, avoid opening your fridge or freezer for as long as possible. If you have refrigerated medication, reach out to your doctor or pharmacists to determine if it is still safe to use. Once the power returns, use this handy chart to know what to keep and what to toss.

Must-Do #3: Unplug Electronics and Appliances

When power comes back on, the grid can sometimes carry a very brief surge of several hundred volts. Unless you’re using a surge protector, these spikes can potentially fry your electronics. So it’s best to unplug them as soon as the power goes out and wait until after it comes back on.

Must-Do #4: Only Use Flashlights or Lanterns

While candle light can be romantic, it’s not a safe light source during a power outage. Not only do they pose a fire risk, they’re not very bright. Instead, rely on flashlights or battery powered lanterns as a light source.

Must-Do #5: Use a Generator Safety 

If you’re lucky enough to have a generator, your power problems are covered. But you still have to operate your generator safely. Generators and fuel should be kept at least 20 ft away from windows, doors and attached garages. Always use the appropriate extension cord to connect your generator to appliances and electronics. And make sure to keep the area dry around your generator to avoid an electric shock.

Must-Do #6: Use Water Sparingly 

In extreme cases when power goes out, local water treatment systems may not be working. So don’t risk drinking contaminated water. Instead, only drink bottled or boiled water until the system is pronounced safe.

Must-Do #7: Keep Entertained But Save Battery Power

For most people, their cellphone is their lifeline. That means you will need it to work in case of an emergency. So don’t waste battery power scrolling on social media or playing games. Instead, consider catching up on your book reading, playing board or card games, or even cleaning the house.

Save Money with the Best Electricity Rates in Philly 

Now that you’re prepared for a power outage, it’s time to consider your electricity provider. You can get a great electricity rate in Philly simply by shopping around. Read reviews, compare plans, and more in one convenient site. Visit

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