Power Outages

Prepare. Don't React.

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Unpredictable weather shifts could put us all in some tight spots. Are you ready?

As of late, we’ve had some incredible, yet unpredictable weather shifts, so much so that they’re breaking records left and right. Many of us have never been through historically high temps or an atmospheric river until this past year. These extreme swings in weather can cause a multitude of things to happen, such as the need for an emergency kit or a Public Safety Power Shut-Off (PSPS). Keep scrolling to learn more on both.​
Prepare. Don't React

Help Your Community Stay Prepared

​Emergencies can happen any time, day or night. Regardless of your power supplier, your Sacramento County friends and neighbors might not know about the resources available to them during a power outage, a PSPS, or any emergency. Help out your community, especially the most vulnerable members, by​ spreading the word in any way you can. This Empowered Designed Community Leader T​oolkit​ can help give you and your neighbors the right information and resources with shareable social media graphics, emergency fact sheets, videos, and more.

Preparedness information is also available in the SacramentoEmpowered PowerPoint Presen​tation​.​


Create an emergency Kit

Create an Emergency Kit!

Emergency kits do not need to be expensive. You may already have many items in your home. Make emergency kit building fun and go on a scavenger hunt! Here’s a complete list of everything you might need, plus some handy tips and tricks:​


  • ​3-day supply of water - 1 gallon of water per person per day
  • 3-day supply of non-refrigerated food, include supplies for babies, seniors and pets in your household
  • Manual can opener
  • First aid kit + medications. Plan for medications that require refrigeration or medical devices that need to be powered. Register for your utility's Medical Baseline information if you are dependent on medical devices that require power.
  • Flashlight with extra batteries or solar lanterns
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Portable Charger (car plug-in or battery charger)
  • Radio (battery operated or hand-crank)
  • Family needs: Diapers + formula, assistive devices, and supplies for pets.
  • Keep your car's fuel tank at least half full. Gas stations use electricity to power pumps. Ensure your electric vehicle is fully charged.
  • Keep cash in small bills per person in your household.  ATMs use electricity.
  • Subscribe to Sacramento-Alert.org and your local utility for information on outages.   
  • Personal and financial documents
  • Install carbon monoxide detectors on each floor of your home.

Bonus Items

  • Sleeping bag or a warm blanket per person
  • Games and Books
  • Coolers with ice
  • Digital quick-response thermometer to check the internal temperatures of food to ensure they are cold enough to use safely
  • Outdoor charcoal grill or camp stove to heat foods outside. 


  • ​​​Be sure that you know how to manually open your garage
  • Plan for medical needs if medical devices are used in your household, have an extra battery or a plan to charge your devices and sign up for utility company medical baseline programs.
  • Keep a paper or an electronic password protected portable drive or cloud copy of your ID card, ​insurance, and other important
    documents in​ a zip lock bag.
  • Safely use a portable generator. Operate a generator outdoors and away from windows to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning. Familiarize yourself with restrictions and ordinances on the use of generators.​

What Should I Do During A Power Outage?

  • ​​Keep refrigerator and freezer doors closed. An unopened refrigerator will keep foods cold for about 4 hours.
  • Use refrigerated foods first, then freezer foods, then non-refrigerated foods.
  • If it looks like a power outage will extend beyond a day, use a cooler to keep foods at the proper temperature​.
  • Turn off appliances or electrical equipment in use when the power went out, so the surge does not damage electronics when power returns
  • Leave one light on so you know when the power comes back on
  • Read and download this guide on generator safet​y​.
  • Have at least one back-up key and door lock to enter your home if you rely on electronic or keyless entry systems​

The Power Outage is Over, Now What?

Toss it!

  • Any food that was exposed to temperatures over 40 degrees or higher for two hours or more.
  • Any food that might have an unusual odor or texture post-outage
  • Refrigerated medication, if the outage lasted longer than one day and contact your physician for a new batch.

Report it!

If you see any downed power lines, be sure to contact your local power agency

Check - in!

  • Be a good neighbor and check-in on those in your community who need it the most. Whether it be children you know are home alone, an elderly neighbor, one with special needs, or just someone who could use a hand, make sure to check-in.​

Restock & Recharge!

  • ​Restock and recharge any items in your Emergency Kit.​


Want to lead the safety pack next time?

Special Conditions

In 2019, California experienced historical, record-breaking severe weather causing the creation of Public Safety Power Shut-offs (PSPS). In order to keep communities safe, local energy companies may need to turn off the power during extreme weather or wildfire conditions. This is called a Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS). 

​Both PG&E & SMUD conduct PSPS and will notify residents if a PSPS event is likely in their area. To learn more about the PSPS timeline and what to do, visit Learn about Public Safety Power Shutoffs.

Sign up for Sacramento Alerts​ to be informed in the event of an emergency.

For additional preparedness resources visit www.sacramentoready.org​ and www.ready.gov​.​