What to Do During a Blackout

Safety Tips

  • Only use a flashlight for emergency lighting. Never use candles!
  • Turn off or unplug appliances and electrical equipment you were using when the power went out.
  • Do not run a generator inside a home or garage.
  • If you use a generator, connect the equipment you want to power directly to the outlets on the generator. Do not connect a generator to a home's electrical system.
  • Listen to local radio and television for updated information.

Actions You Should Take

  • Check outside street lights or with neighbors to see if the power outage extends beyond your home. If it does, call City of Martinsville Electric Department at 276-403-5183 (Monday through Friday from 7 am to 5 pm); for after-hours and on weekends, call 276-403-5138 and notify us that you are experiencing a power outage. Information you provide can often help us locate the problem and restore power quicker. Please do not call 911 unless there is a life-threatening emergency.
  • If the outage seems to only affect your home, check your circuit breakers or fuses, making certain that your main breaker and all sub-breakers are all the way in the "On" position and not halfway. Should a breaker be in the halfway position, switch it all the way to the "Off" position and wait several seconds before moving it to the "On" position. If the outage persists, report it to the City of Martinsville Electric Department at 276-403-5183 (Monday through Friday from 7 am to 5 pm); for after-hours and weekends, call 276-403-5138.
  • Check on your neighbors, especially if they are elderly, alone, have medical conditions, or use medical machinery that operates on electricity.
  • Leave a least one light turned on, so you'll know when your power returns.
  • Turn off or disconnect appliances, equipment (like air conditioners) or electronics you were using when the power went out. When power comes back on, it may come back with momentary "surges" or "spikes" that can damage equipment such as computers and motors in appliances. When power is restored, reconnect and turn on your appliances one at a time. This reduces the chance of a sudden overload on your home's electrical system.
  • Leave the doors to your refrigerator and freezer closed to keep your food from spoiling.

Medical Equipment & Power Outages - Customer Responsibility

While we try to plan and prepare for unforeseen power outages, it is impossible to predict when they will occur or the time it will take to restore power once an outage has occurred.

If you rely on electricity to operate medical equipment, we recommend that you develop an emergency backup plan ahead of time. If oxygen is needed, keep a few hours' supply of oxygen and, in case of an extended time without power, have a location where you can go that has enough electricity to power your equipment until the power is restored. It is the customer's responsibility to contact their oxygen supplier and insure that they have sufficient supplies to last through an emergency.