What Happens if You Lose Power

Posted at 8:10 p.m.

Our emergency operations center is staffed this evening and we’ve been noticing a slow, but steady rise in the number of electrical meters being reported out at both Dominion Virginia Power (report outages to 1-866-DOM-HELP [366-4357]) and Northern Virginia Electric Cooperative (report outages at 1-888-335-0500).

The snow is expected to taper off soon — but winds are expected to pick up and sustain intensity overnight — and more outages and downed trees and power lines should be expected.

What happens if you do lose power tonight? Perhaps the better question is what not to do:flashlight

  • Use a flashlight only for emergency lighting. Never use candles.
  • When using a portable generator, connect the equipment you want to power directly to the outlets on the generator. Do not connect a portable generator to a home’s electrical system.
  • Never use a generator, grill, camp stove or other gasoline, propane, natural gas or charcoal ­burning devices inside a home, garage, basement, crawlspace or any partially enclosed area. Locate the unit(s) away from doors, windows and vents that could allow carbon monoxide to come indoors.

In addition:

  • Unplug electrical equipment. Spikes and surges could occur as power is restored, damaging equipment.
  • While you have electricity, be sure to charge any batteries you need to run portable electronic devices (such as cellphones) that you use regularly.
  • Make sure that your disaster supply kit is complete and that it can be found easily if the lights go out.
  • If you use well water, pre-plan by filling a bathtub with water for use with sanitation, etc.

You may also want to do some pre-planning for options should you and your family lose power late tonight — or even overnight. Are there friends you could stay with? Why not go ahead and reach out and check … just in case.

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About Fairfax County Emergency Information

Official emergency information about preparedness, response and recovery from Fairfax County Government.

One response to “What Happens if You Lose Power”

  1. Anna says :

    I am Physically Disabled so there will be hardships for my Safety & Well Being if We Loose Electricity!!