During An Outage

What to do when the lights go out.

Report Your Outage - Call (503) 397-1844

Your phone call helps us to determine the extent and location of outages so we can restore power quickly. When you call, please be prepared with the following information:

  • Your phone number.
  • Your name.
  • The location of the outage.
  • A description of the problem.

Turn Off Lights & Electrical Equipment

Leave one porch light on to let our repair crews confirm when your service has been restored, and one lamp inside your home so you will know when power has been restored.

All other electrical equipment should be turned off and unplugged, including:

  • DVD players and VCRs
  • Refrigerators and freezers
  • Laundry machines
  • Stereos
  • TV sets
  • Microwave Ovens

This will help reduce initial demand for electricity when power is restored, which, if too great, will overload the system and cause the power to go off again. It will also protect your equipment from possible voltage fluctuation. Do not turn equipment on again until lights have returned to their normal brightness.

Keeping Food During an Outage

Visit http://www.foodsafety.gov/keep/emergency/index.html for detailed instructions on keeping food safe during outages. 

Your refrigerator will keep food cold for about 4 hours if it is unopened.  

Food will stay frozen for about two days in a full freezer, one day in a freezer less than half full. It helps to cover the freezers with blankets and quilts. Keep the door closed and use dry ice to keep food frozen. Use 25 lbs. of dry ice for every cubic feet of food to be kept frozen for two to four days. Wear gloves when handling the ice, and place it on cardboard in the freezer rather than directly on food packages. Food may be refrozen if it still contains some ice crystals. If in doubt, throw it out.

Use a thermometer in your refrigerator.  Remember pork, poultry, fish and ground meat spoil quickly at room temperature above 40 degrees. Other foods that spoil quickly include: custards, creamed foods or any food containing mayonnaise.

Staying Warm During Winter Outages

If the power goes out during cold weather, follow these guidelines to keep warm:

  • Gather everyone in one room where there is an alternative heat source such as a fireplace.
  • Dress in loose layers of clothing.
  • If the temperature in your home drops below 55°F, open faucets slightly so they constantly drip to prevent water pipes from freezing.
  • Never leave candles and portable heaters unattended. Keep them away from small children and animals.
  • Never use a gas range for room heating.
  • Never use charcoal to heat or cook indoors.
  • Never use gasoline or other flammable liquids to start a fire. Always keep a screen around an open flame, and don’t close the damper while ashes are still hot.
  • Remember, a fuel-burning heater, such as a kerosene heater, requires proper ventilation to prevent buildup of harmful fumes.
  • Place heaters on a hard, non-combustible surface.