Steps to Take During a Power Outage

Washington, DC—The Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers (AHAM) offers the following advice for residents living areas affected by the power outage.

  • During any power interruption, immediately turn off or disconnect all major appliances such as air-conditioning, dryer, washer, dishwasher, range and heavy-duty motors such as pool pumps and water heaters. Otherwise, when the electricity comes back on, the sudden surge of power caused by the high demand for electricity could complicate and delay power restoration efforts. A second outage is more likely if our customers don't turn off their major appliances when an outage occurs. 
  • Leave on just a few lights so you'll know when power has been restored. Don't turn off the refrigerator / freezer because you might forget to turn them back on when power is restored. 
  • Remember to wait at least one minute after the power is restored before turning back on the equipment. 
  • Some utilities in areas that were hit hardest are urging customers who have regained power to conserve energy and to refrain from using large appliances. Customers still without power should keep electric switches in the “off” position.
  • Keep the refrigerator door closed- to trap the cold air inside.  Check for spoilage of any food that has been stored in the refrigerator or freezer. 

If you are unsure about when to turn the power "on," contact your local utility.  For all appliance related questions, you can contact the appliance manufacturers’ customer service toll-free numbers which can be found under “Solving Problems” on   

For more information, please call Jill Notini at 202-872-5955 ext. 318.