Power Outages

The First Tennessee Area Agency on Aging and Disability (FTAAAD), in conjunction with the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency (TEMA) and other First Tennessee area service agencies, has put together a disaster preparedness guide specifically for Tennesseans age 60 and older.


  • Have the telephone number of your local power company accessible for reporting outages.
  • Have flashlights or battery-operated lanterns available in multiple locations in your dwelling. Use of candles and kerosene lanterns can be a fire hazard, so try to avoid those. If you have to use those last two, keep an eye on them at all times, and don't leave them burning when you sleep.
  • Maintain a Disaster Supply Kit.  (Refer to Disaster Preparedness Checklist.) You obviously won't need the kit for an outage that only lasts a few minutes or a few hours, but there may come a time when the power is out for days: a tornado, an ice storm, or some other widespread disaster could overwhelm your local power company.
  • Investigate other sources of heat for your dwelling, keeping in mind that some heating sources are only for outdoor use (for example: portable generators and gas grills).

When It Happens

  • If phone service is available, report the power outage to your local power company.
  • Turn off major appliances to prevent overload when the power is restored.
  • Keep your refrigerator and freezer doors closed as much as possible. Food can be kept cold for 1-2 days with minimal opening of the appliance door.
  • If the outage occurs in winter and there is a high probability of water pipes freezing (due to excessively low temperatures and/or extended duration of power outage), drain water supply lines, if possible, to avoid a break.