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Safety After the Storm

Know the hazards severe weather can leave behind

Continue practicing caution while recovering from severe weather

Once the weather clears, you may continue to be impacted by damage, debris and power outages. A strong wind and wet ground can mean additional fallen trees even if the skies are sunny. Follow these tips to stay safe while storm damage is being repaired.


Is your power out? Report outages and stay informed.

  • Text “OUTAGE” to 423-648-1372 to report an outage.
  • The fastest, most convenient way to report outages and get live updates is with the MyEPB app. Download it free on your device's app store.
  • Report outages and monitor restoration progress on your smart phone.
  • Call us at 423-648-1372 to report outages — but beware of long wait times. We get a lot of calls during outages.

Protect your food and avoid food poisoning

The longer a power outage lasts, the more your refrigerator loses its ability to keep your food from going bad. Follow these tips to stay safe and avoid health risks:

Safety Tips:

  • Refrigerated food should keep for a few hours. According to the USDA, refrigerators can keep perishable foods safe for a few hours during an outage.
  • Lower fridge temperatures before storms arrive. This will help your food last longer.
  • Sniff, don’t taste. Tasting food to see if it’s bad can give you food poisoning.
  • Discard cooked and prepared meals after 2 hours of no power.

Tips for preventing generator hazards

A generator is a great way to meet your needs and return to normalcy during an outage. However, it’s essential to practice basic safety measures to avoid accidental harm or even death.

Safety Tips:

  • Know the risks. Generator misuse can lead to death from carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning, possible electrocution, and burns — all of which can be avoided.
  • Refuel when cool. Turn off the generator and let it cool down before refueling to prevent a fire hazard.
  • Use outside only. Do not use a generator inside or in enclosed spaces. Generators emit carbon monoxide, an odorless gas that can quickly kill you. Place it at least 20 feet away from your home and point the exhaust away from windows and doors.
  • Don’t use it in the rain. Place your generator in a covered, well-ventilated area, such as a small plastic shed, portable canopy, generator-safe steel enclosure or an official generator cover.
  • Avoid fumes. Stay at least 15 feet away from the generator while it’s running to avoid inhaling toxic fumes that can kill or harm you.
  • Use outdoor-rated extension cords. Using a standard extension cord or one that has the wrong gauge, length or a worn-out wire can lead to fatal shock, fire hazards and inefficiency. Plug an outdoor-rated generator-safe cord into the generator and plug your electronics into the extension cord.
  • Don’t “backfeed” your home. Don’t plug your generator into a wall outlet to supply your home. This can cause a fire or electrocution.
  • Hire a professional to install a transfer switch. A certified electrician can install this directly into your electrical panel so that it directly powers your hardwired appliances.

Get live outage updates from EPB social media accounts

One of the fastest ways to stay up-to-date on EPB weather-related alerts is by following us on social media: