Check fuses or circuit breakers to rule out problems with electricity inside your home. If a fuse is blown, replace it with the appropriate fuse. If a breaker has tripped, reset it from off to on. If you're unsure about fixing a fuse or circuit breaker, call an electrician.
Check the media. If the outage is widespread, you can usually monitor the outage restoration process by checking your local media outlets. NorthWestern Energy has media personnel on 24/7 call to provide information to reporters.
Unplug computers, chargers, TVs, VCRs and other sensitive appliances to avoid possible damage when electricity is restored.
Turn off all but one of the lights that were on, so you will notice when electricity is restored.
Use a flashlight. Avoid candles because of the fire risk.
Turn off heat-producing appliances like electric irons and heaters to prevent a fire in case no one is home when power is restored.
If a standby generator is used, make sure it has a manual or automatic transfer switch. This switch will isolate home circuits from power lines. A generator that does not have a transfer switch can back feed electricity into main power lines, causing a shock hazard for you and utility crews. Be alert for carbon monoxide buildup from portable generators. Never run a portable generator inside or near a building.
Let your family know you’re safe – if your community experiences a severe winter storm, or any disaster, register on the American Red Cross Safe and Well web site available through www.RedCross.org to let your family and friends know about your welfare. If you don’t have internet access, call 1-866-438-4637 to register yourself and your family.