Aug 22, 2023 - Climate

What to do during a summer power outage

Illustration of two power line towers angling away from each other with lines snapping

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Power outages are always a menace, but extreme weather like the recent heat wave here makes them dangerous.

Driving the news: Hundreds of North Texans lost electricity for several hours on Sunday, when the heat index reached 113 degrees.

  • A car crash knocked down a power line in Las Colinas, leaving multiple apartment buildings without power into the night.
  • In Carrollton, a transformer fire caused outages nearby.

Here are some tips if you experience a power outage in the heat:

Find out why. Figuring out the source of the outage — such as severe weather, a downed power line or a rolling blackout — could give you some indication of how long it may last.

  • Check the Nextdoor app for neighborhood updates. If you see a fallen power line, leave the area and report the incident to 911 or Oncor.

Cool it. Keep windows, doors and blinds closed to keep your home as cool as possible. Keep your fridge and freezer closed too.

Save your stuff. Unplug your appliances to avoid a power surge when the power is restored. Charge your phone using a laptop or power bank.

Stay in the loop. Text Oncor or check this map to get outage updates.

Wait it out elsewhere. Consider going to a cooling center or a friend's house instead of suffering in a power-less home.


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