Lights Out" Kit

  • Flashlights with batteries(one for every family member). Avoid using candles during power outages - the risk of fire is too great.
  • Battery operated radio and clock
  • Extra batteries
  • Containers of water or bottled water
  • Canned, freeze-dried or dehydrated food, powdered milk, baby supplies for infants
  • Non-electric can opener
  • Sterno or similar fuel(Never burn charcoal indoors)
  • List of important phone numbers
  • First-aid kit
  • Cash
  • Keep your car's gas tank full
  • Know how to manually operate an electric garage door
  • Unplug sensitive electronic equipment
  • Turn off major appliances or unplug if there isn't an OFF position

Basement Flooding

If you anticipate basement flooding during a storm, turn off your water heater, furnace and nonsubmersible sump pump, and your electric system before water can reach them. ELECTRICITY AND WATER CREATE A DANGEROUS MIX, so don't go into your basement or attempt to turn off the electricity in your basement if it's already flooded.

Be sure to have all electrical equipment including washing machines, dryers, and spare refrigerators checked by an electrician before restarting.

Check List - At the Threat of a Major Storm

  • Check your "Lights Out" kit to be sure it's well stocked and ready.
  • Turn your refrigerator and freezer to thier coldest settings.
  • We recommend unplugging the air-conditioner, ceiling fan, dryer, electric stove, freezer, furnace, refrigerator, washer and water pump if there isn't an OFF position.
  • Take steps to protect your major or electronically sensitive appliances prior to a major storm(unplug all sensitive electronic equipment such as TV, computer, stereo, cordless telephone base, garage door opener, and microwave.
  • Fill your car's gas tank

Check List - If You Lose Power

  • City of Huntingburg Electric Utility call 1-812-683-2327 immediately to report the outage.
  • Take steps to prevent food spoilage.
  • Stay indoors. If you must venture outside, stay away from downed and dangling lines. Treat all downed lines as if they are live and dangerous.
  • If you use a portable generator, follow important, life-saving instructions.
  • Keep a battery-operated radio on for safety tips and for restoration progress.


Do not refreeze melted ice cream or yogurt, seafood, food that has thawed completely and been held above 40o degrees for two hours or longer, anything with custard fillings, or any foods with a questionable texture or odor. A general rule on food spoilage is, "if in doubt, throw it out."

If you have any questions about the safety of defrosted foods, you can call the U.S. Department of Agriculture's toll-free "Meat and Poultry Line" at 1-800-535-4555 weekdays, 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.

See Refrigerator and Freezer Below

Garage Doors (Electric)

Doors of this type may be opened by disengaging the drive mechanism. Methods used to do this vary from manufacture to manufacture. Please consult your operating instructions supplied by the manufacturer. They will tell you how to disengage the drive mechanism so that you can open the door manually. If you do not have a manufacturer's instruction book. call the company that installed the doors.

Generator Installation

Have a qualified, licensed electrician install your generator. The generator must be connected to your home's wiring through a special transfer switch to ensure that the house wires are isolated from the utility's wires so that our lines cannot be energized by your generator.

If a portable generator is improperly connected to your house's electrical system, the electricity it generates not only enters the home's wiring but could be back feeding into Huntingburg's electrical system, creating a life-threatening hazard for repair crews or others nearby.

Keeping your Pipes from Freezing

Shut off the valve that allows water to come into your home. Then, open any drain valves and all faucets and let them run until the pipes are empty (it's helpful to identify these valves in advance). Next, flush all toilets and pour denatured alcohol into toilets and sinks to prevent water in the traps from freezing. do NOT use automotive antifreeze in case there's trouble with your water system; you don't want antifreeze to contaminate your drinking water. You may, however, use nontoxic antifreeze that's made for winterizing motor homes.

The tank of your electric water heater will keep water warm for the first few days after an outage. However, it can freeze after prolonged cold and should be drained after three days of below freezing temperatures.

Medical Problems

If you have a special medical problem, call the American Red Cross, or your local town or civil defense officials for information about shelters. If you are ill or frail, consider staying with relatives at a town shelter if the outage will be lengthy.

If a member of your household relies on electric equipment for a life-threatening medical condition, we suggest a back-up plan to provide the patient with alternative facility care in case of a prolonged outage.

If you have medication that requires refrigeration, check with your pharmacist for guidance on proper storage during an extended outage. You may want to keep a small cooler handy.

Portable Generators

If you feel that you cannot tolerate an extended power outage, we recommend that you purchase a portable generator. Select a generator correctly sized to meet your needs. Ask your dealer for guidelines. There are important, life saving issues involved in selecting, purchasing, installing and maintaining a portable generator.

Please be aware that improper portable generator installation and use COULD KILL AN UNSUSPECTING LINE WORKER. It could also cause a house fire. Do not use a generator until you can use it safely.

GENERATOR EXHAUST IS DEADLY. We recommend that the unit not be located indoors. Never refuel the generator while it is operating.

See Generator Installation Below

Protecting Sensitive Electronic Equipment

You may want to use surge suppressors to protect your sensitive electrical equipment from voltage irregularities, disturbances that can jumble your computer data. VOLTAGE IRREGULARITIES can occur when the power line between your house and the pole is damaged, or there's damage to your SERVICE ENTRANCE CABLE ( the wire running down the side of your house to the electric meter).

Whole house SURGE PROTECTOR KITS can help protect your home from power surges. Small surge suppressers can be installed in outlets into which electronic equipment is plugged. Power surge suppressers are available in most department stores. Before you buy one, be sure it bears the Underwriters' Laboratories (UL) 1449 label for safety.

Refrigerator and Freezer

Before a storm -- Set your refrigerator and freezer to their coldest settings (remember to reset them after). Throw a blanket over both for extra insulation to keep the cold in. It's a good idea to place plastic containers filled with water in your freezer - ice helps maintain the cold during outages.

During a storm -- DON'T OPEN THE REFRIGERATOR OR FREEZER DOOR. If the unit's door is unopened, food stays in a full refrigerator for up to 24 hours and in a freezer up to 48 hours if it's well packed; 24 hours if half packed. You might load up a cooler with ice and store food you'll need during the first day or so after an outage.

See Food Above

Service Wire Damage

Shut off your home's main switch or put the main circuit breaker in the OFF position if you are without power and:
  • A tree has fallen on the service wire leading from the pole to your house.
  • Service wire is down or pulled away from house.
If your lights are dim or unusually bright it signals voltage trouble which could damage sensitive electronic equipment or motor driven appliances.

You should shut off your home's main switch or put the main circuit breaker in the OFF position.

Tree Clean-up

The City of Huntingburg WILL NOT REMOVE fallen trees, limbs or branches during or following tree work performed for emergency restoration. Chipping and/or disposal of these are the responsibility of the home owner. Consult your yellow pages for a tree removal service if you feel the job necessitates outside help.