Lightning strike in the mountains outside of Tucson, Arizona

During a storm: outage & storm safety

Follow these tips to stay safe during a storm.

If you are outside during a storm:

Stay away from downed power lines. Never touch them. If you see a downed line or other damaged equipment, call 911 right away.

If a power line comes into contact with your vehicle, stay inside the vehicle until help arrives. Do not attempt to get out. By stepping out of the vehicle, your body can become the pathway for electricity to reach the ground, causing severe bodily harm or electrocution. Use a cellular phone, if available, to notify emergency services of your exact location.

Never try to remove tree limbs or other debris that may have made contact with downed power lines or other electrical equipment.

If you are at home during a storm:

Stay at home.

Use a cell phone. Never use a hardwire phone if you see lightning or hear thunder in your area, as phone lines can be a conduit for nearby lightning strikes.

Turn off electronic appliances that were on when the service interruption began. Leave one light on to indicate when power is restored.

Don't play video games connected to your TV. Lightning can travel through wires from game consoles to handset controllers.

Never touch wiring during a thunderstorm. It is too late to unplug electronics if the storm is nearby.

Keep refrigerator and freezer doors closed. The refrigerator will keep food safely cold for about four hours if it is unopened.

For longer power outages, consider packing cold and frozen foods into coolers or pack ice into your refrigerator. As a general rule, perishable foods with temperatures above 40 degrees for more than two hours should be thrown away.