Loss of Electricity or Other Utilities


Electricity or other utilities are often lost in a disaster. While short term power outages can pose a hazard to some longer term blackouts can be costly and dangerous to everyone. Many businesses, institutions and an increasing number of homeowners have back-up power units that provide for some or all of their electrical needs. Water and home heating supplies may also be disrupted in a disaster. When water supply is restored it may be necessary to boil or treat it before use. When gas supplies are disrupted it is often necessary for licenced professionals to restore safe operation.

Planning for Utility Losses

  • Never use an open flame device for lighting, heating, or cooking within your home during a power outage. In addition to the danger of fire harmful gases can be fatal.
  • Battery powered flashlights and radios will help you to stay safe during an extended power outage. You can keep spare batteries in the refrigerator to make them last longer in storage.
  • Portable generators can keep food from spoiling and maintain the operation of critical home heating systems. Contact an electrical contractor or retailer to see what size and type of generator would work best for you.
  • Plan to use a minimum of 1 gallon of water per person per day in a disaster. Bottled water should be used within 6 months and tap water can be stored in sanitized containers for up to 30 days. Boiling water for 15 minutes will destroy harmful bacteria.

2-1-1 - United Way

In an emergency you may choose to call a relative, friend, neighbor or you can ask for a referral to the most likely organization that can help you by calling United Way’s 2-1-1 help line. The United Way 2-1-1 System helps the Lucas County EMA to understand the impact on our communities and other organizations to track the delivery of services to victims of disasters. In this way we work together to assure that no one should fall through the cracks.