Every summer, wildfires are a threat to our homes, businesses, farms and forests. They can also cause power outages.
Make sure you’re ready.
Here are a few ways to keep you and your family from getting caught off-guard in a summer outage, regardless of the cause.
Stay informed. Know how to get the latest updates when an outage happens.
- Sign up for outage alerts and update your contact information if needed.
- Visit the Outage Map if your power does go out.
- If available, sign up for free emergency alerts from local police departments, sheriff’s offices, fire departments and other emergency-response agencies. Pay attention to weather and fire alerts issued by national agencies.
- Download the FEMA app.
Make a plan. Whether you have special medical needs or livestock to water, make sure you’re ready for your unique needs, and those of your loved ones, during a long outage.
- Prepare for medical needs, whether those are related to refrigerated medicine or electrically powered medical equipment. This could mean finding a place you can go during an outage or buying a backup generator.
- Find a way to feed and water pets or livestock in case well pumps don’t have power.
- Know how to open and close electric garage doors and security gates.
- Map out your evacuation route. Contact your local law enforcement agency for an evacuation guide and designate a place to meet up with family.
- Build a line of defense around your home. You can find helpful tips and strategies here.
Build a summer outage kit. Make sure you have everything you need to help you safely get through an outage in hot summer weather.
- Bottled water (five gallons per person)
- Non-perishable food (canned food, crackers, etc.)
- Non-electric can opener
- Baby food or formula and diapers
- Pet food
- First-aid kit
- Prescription medications
- Battery- or solar-powered chargers for your devices (phones, tablets, etc.)
- Battery-powered radio and clock, flashlight, and fans
- Extra batteries
- A block of ice in the freezer
Stay safe if the power goes out. If the lights do go out, know how to stay safe and minimize the impact of the outage.
- Check Idaho Power’s Outage Map. If you don’t see your outage, you can report it online or by phone at 1-800-488-6151. You can also sign up to receive text alerts.
- For safety reasons, use battery-powered lights instead of candles.
- Never use an electric generator indoors, inside the garage or near the air intake of your house. If you plan to use a generator during an outage, ensure it meets National Electrical Code Articles 701 and 702 and does not interconnect with Idaho Power’s electrical system. If you have questions, contact us beforehand at 208-388-2323 or 1-800-488-6151. In addition, check out this Using Portable Generators Safely brochure.
- To protect your appliances, machinery and equipment, turn off any that were in use when the power went out. Make sure to turn off electric ranges to prevent the possibility of a fire if you’re away when power is restored. Keep one light on so you know when power has been restored.
- After power has been restored for about 10 minutes, begin turning back on appliances and lighting in 10-minute phases. This keeps circuits from overloading and helps to more quickly and safely restore everyone’s power.
- Avoid opening refrigerator and freezer doors to keep food cold longer, and keep a large block of ice in the freezer.
- If you notice a downed power line, stay at least 100 feet back and report it to Idaho Power by calling 1-800-488-6151. Read more about being safe around downed power lines.
Find additional tips at Emergency Preparedness | Idaho Department of Health and Welfare and ready.gov.