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Local Leaders: Respond to an Energy Emergency

  • Gather information—Tap the energy and emergency contacts you established before the disaster occurred to gather information and assess the nature of the emergency before moving forward with your response. What immediate damage has impacted energy assets? What is the extent of the damage? Who in the community is currently impacted? Is it possible to provide the community access to a place unaffected by the energy emergency if needed? How long will it take to restore the community to pre-emergency conditions?
  • Effectively communicate with the public—Ensure quick information from local officials and energy suppliers is readily available and accessible, via radio, television, newspapers, the Internet, social media, mass text notifications and e-alerts, and other methods. Provide details on the scope, severity, and potential duration of the energy disruption, and why it has happened. Detail what energy providers and Federal, State, and local officials are doing to address the energy emergency. Describe what steps (if any) the public needs to take, where they can find current information, and where they may obtain needed resources.
  • Identify essential services that may need backup power or fuel—Determine whether critical service providers have enough fuel to ensure that essential public services are maintained. Move backup generators to critical facilities as necessary. Learn more
  • Identify the need for assistance—Be familiar with State and Federal procedures for responding to energy emergencies, so you may be in a better position to request assistance during and after a disaster strikes. Learn more
  • Conserve energy—Issue requests to the public, businesses, and energy providers to conserve energy, which will reduce stress on infrastructure and help your community recover more quickly. Learn more
  • Document damage—Remind the public to take pictures for insurance and disaster assistance claims before taking steps to rebuild or throwing things away. Offer guidance for dealing with contractors they may hire to rebuild their homes or businesses. Learn more
     

 

Disclaimer: Because every emergency is different, it is important for your safety that you follow the directives of your state and local emergency management authorities and local utilities. The information provided on DOE's website is intended for general informational purposes only and is not an endorsement of any particular material or service. Before engaging in any activities that could impact utility services such as electricity or natural gas, contact your local utility to ensure that the activities are done safely.

For additional emergency-planning resources, visit the Federal Emergency Management Agency's website, ready.gov. State and local emergency management authorities and local utilities may also provide helpful guidance.