When a power outage occurs in the Washington DC area it is usually restored in less than two hours. During thunderstorms, ice storms, hurricanes, high winds and extreme heat, the power delivery system can be strained, causing more severe and longer lasting power outages. Power outages can also result from construction damage and car crashes. The power companies want individuals to report outages so that they can identify the problems and restore power as quick as possible.
Power Companies Serving the Washington DC Area
Tips for Coping with a Power Outage
- Be prepared. Before the storm, stock up on food, water, flashlights, batteries, warm clothing, extra blankets, first aid supplies, games or entertainment, etc. Be sure to charge your cell phone before a big storm and make sure that you have a landline phone with a cord that works without power.
- If you use a portable generator during a power outage, keep it outside, away from doors and windows. Carbon monoxide fumes are deadly and you need to be sure to keep them from entering your home.
- Don’t attempt to remove trees from a power line. Stay at least 10 feet away from the wire. Leave this dangerous work to the professionals.
- Extended power outages can cause food to spoil due to lack of refrigeration. Food in a refrigerator can stay safely cold for 4 to 6 hours. Items in the freezer can stay frozen for 2 to 4 days. Keeping the doors closed will keep the food cold for a longer period of time. See more tips for preparing for power outages by the National Center for Home Food Preservation.
- Stay comfortable and safe. During the winter months, wear layers and be sure to stay warm enough. In the summer, protect yourself from heat stress and drink plenty of water. Visit a friend or go to a public place that has heat or air conditioning.
- Enjoy some quality time with your family. Short term power outages can be a fun time to connect with your family members and loved ones. Tell stories or read books together if you have enough light.
More Public Utility Emergency Phone Numbers
WASA (Water and Sewer Authority Hotline) (202) 612-3400
Verizon (Telephone Company) (800) 275-2355
WMATA (Washington Metro Area Transit Authority) (202) 962-1212
Washington Gas (Gas Company) (800) 752-7520