Power Outages

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Power outages can pose a number of health threats. Without electricity it can be difficult to heat your home or cook safely, keep food refrigerated or obtain drinking water. The Department of Health has information about how to make it through safely during a power outage.

Prepare for a power outage

Are you and your family prepared to go without power? Find preparedness tips for all types of hazards, including what to include in your emergency kit. A few other things to consider:

  • Is your sump pump in good working order? Consider a battery backup so that it can continue to work during a power outage.
  • Gather batteries, flashlights, and other supplies.
  • If you or a family member have emergency medical needs that will be severely impacted by a loss of power, please contact your power company and develop an emergency plan. Consider stocking up on all medicines and supplies prior to any severe weather event. Both Seattle City Light and Puget Sound Energy have life support medical emergency programs.

Live Wire Warning

Keep your distance from any downed line and immediately report it by calling 9-1-1.

Darkened Intersections

Treat all darkened intersections as a four-way stop and be cautious of drivers who may not stop.

Power Outage Status

Seattle City Light

General phone number: (206) 684-3000

Phone number for outages and downed power lines: (206) 684-7400

Puget Sound Energy

General phone number: (888) 225-5773

Phone number for outages and downed power lines: (888) 225-5773

Avoid Accidental Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

Do not bring barbecue or other open flame sources into the home. The smoke from open flame indoors can lead to death or injury from carbon monoxide poisoning. 
Tips from Seattle-King County Public Health to stay safe during a power outage, including carbon monoxide facts in other languages:

Avoid Food Poisoning by Keeping Refrigerators and Freezers Closed

  • It is important to keep freezer and refrigerator doors closed to prevent the loss of cold air.
  • A fully loaded refrigerator may keep food fresh for about six hours.
  • A fully loaded freezer may keep food frozen for up to two days.
  • If any food in the refrigerator or freezer is warmer than 41° F, throw it out.
  • In a severe emergency or disaster, expect electric power to be out for several days. In such an event, consider relocating to a shelter or to a friend's home where heat and power are available.

Multilingual Resources

Updated December 21, 2021