What to Do When the Power Goes Out

When you rely on something as much as electricity, it can be unnerving when your power goes out. So, what should you do?

Reset GFCI outlets & circuit breakers

If the power goes out, most of us check to see if neighbors are out, too. If it's just your house, check all the GFCI outlets (the ones with the little reset button in the middle) and reset them if needed. These are usually located in the kitchen, baths or laundry rooms. Then check your electrical panel to see if any circuits have tripped. Sometimes a breaker is tripped in the background but not showing visually, so try resetting your breaker by turning all of them off for about 15 seconds, then back on. This restores power in most cases. If that doesn't fix it, report the outage.

Report an outage and get updates

If you're a residential or small business customer, we'll text you if your power goes out, so you shouldn't need to report it. But if you don't get a text, you can still report outages. Just download our mobile app, report online or call:

What additional steps should you take?

Here’s how you can prevent possible power-surge damage and avoid overloading the system when power is restored.

  • Turn on one outside and one inside light so you and PGE crews will know when service is restored.

  • Turn off major appliances at the breaker box and unplug other sensitive electrical equipment like TVs and computers.

  • If you have a backup generator and plan to use it, please review our tips for using generators safely.

  • Call PGE if your neighbor’s power comes back on but yours does not.

  • Call PGE and turn off the breaker if your lights are very dim or very bright once your power is restored.

Food for thought

To keep food in your fridge and freezer cold, avoid opening doors as much as possible. Add bagged or block ice, or move your food to a cooler with ice. If it's below 40 degrees out, a cooler or box outside will also keep food cold. Just be sure to keep an eye out for rising temperatures. Check out other helpful info from FoodSafety.gov.

Important reminders

  • Carbon monoxide poisoning risks are real. Never use a charcoal grill or portable gas-powered generator inside your home, garage or carport.

  • Know how to operate the manual release lever on your automatic garage door YouTube.

  • Check on elderly or impaired neighbors, if possible, to see if they need help.

Warming shelter information

If extreme weather or cold means you need a place to get warm, find information by county at 211info.org.

Get outage updates on social

Follow us on Facebook or X for the latest on major outages.

How we restore power

When a major storm or event hits, we work as quickly as safety allows to get your power back on.

Plan for medical needs

Use medical life-support equipment? Have a plan in place and consider a backup generator in case of an extended power outage.