City of Pasadena City of Pasadena

Disaster Preparedness:  Power Outages


Prepare for Power Outages

  • Sign up for local emergency alerts at and

  • If your health depends on medical equipment powered by electricity, send a signed statement on letterhead from your doctor to:
    Pasadena Water and Power
    Attention: Medical Equipment List
    150 S. Los Robles Ave., Suite 300
    Pasadena CA 91101

  • If you have medication that requires refrigeration, check with your pharmacist for guidance on proper storage during an extended power outage.

  • Restock your emergency preparedness kit with enough non-perishable food, water, warm clothes, weather protection, hygiene items, medical supplies and additional batteries to last at least 72 hours, bearing in mind that power outages could last weeks in some disaster scenarios. Learn more at

  • Keep flashlights, ice chests and manual hand cranks for mobile communication devices on hand, all of which are useful during extended power outages.

  • If you have an electric garage door, know the process for operating it manually.

  • Keep a non-cordless telephone in your home. It is likely to work even when power is out.

  • Always keep your vehicle’s gas tank at least half full. Pumps at gas stations will not be working during power outages.

  • Keep some cash, preferably in small bills, in a hidden location in your home. ATMs will not be working during power outages.

  • Also keep some quarters in a hidden location. If your home and/or cell phones don’t work in a power outage, you may need to find a pay phone in an area where power is on.

  • Share your emergency communications and shelter plans with family, friends, coworkers and neighbors. Record their contact information on paper and in your cell phone.

Stay Safe During Power Outages

  • Call 9-1-1 if you have a life-threatening emergency or if someone in your household is on life support.

  • Call 9-1-1 if you see a downed power line; stay clear of it and anything touching it. Always assume that a power line is live and hazardous. Downed cable and telephone wires can also be hazardous.

  • Call (626) 744-4673 to report a power outage.

  • For your security, do not post your outage location in online public forums or social media sites.

  • NEVER attempt to remove fallen trees that are touching power lines. Pasadena Water and Power (PWP) crews and licensed arborists have expert training in safely removing trees from power lines.

  • If a power line falls on your vehicle while you are in it, do not get out of the car. Wait for emergency responders.

  • If you use a generator during an outage, keep it outdoors and connect it directly to appliances using a heavy-duty extension cord.

  • NEVER connect a generator directly to house wiring; this is extremely dangerous to power crews working on lines and poses a fire hazard to property.

  • Only PWP is authorized to reconnect service lines to properties and only licensed electricians may repair service panels. For your safety and the safety of PWP crews, NEVER attempt to reconnect power lines or electric service panels.

  • NEVER attempt to open boxes at the base of street light poles to string wire from a box to a home or business. The voltage in these boxes is much too high for individual homes. This practice is illegal as well as extremely hazardous to people and structures.

  • Unplug appliances, computers, lamps and other electrical equipment to prevent power surges that can damage them. Leave one low-watt light on so you’ll know when power has been restored.

  • Keep refrigerator doors closed and, if available, place blocks of ice or bags of ice inside to preserve food freshness. Check food carefully for spoilage before eating.

  • Do not use candles indoors. This may result in fire. Use flashlights or battery-operated lanterns instead.

  • NEVER use propane- or other gas-powered outdoor cooking or outdoor heating devices indoors. They can emit deadly gases such as carbon monoxide.

  • Stay alert while driving. Traffic signals may be out, compromised trees may fall and debris may block roadways. If traffic signals are out, treat them as stop signs.

  • Check on neighbors who may require special assistance, especially senior citizens, persons with disabilities and minors who may be home alone.

  • Call 9-1-1 if you witness suspicious activity. Criminals may take advantage of power outages.

  • Beware of scams. For example, never trust anyone who approaches private property and attempts to collect money for permit fees or restoration of power. Call the Pasadena Police Department at (626) 744-4241 to report suspected scammers.

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