* Practice energy conservation every day, not just to keep your bill lower, but to avoid rolling blackouts during times of high consumption.
* Always keep your car's fuel tank at least half full--gas stations use electricity to operate pumps.
* Know how to manually release your electric garage door.
* Protect your computer with a surge protector.
* If the power goes out, check your fuse box or circuit breaker, or contact neighbors to see if the outage is limited to your house.
* Turn off computers, stereos, televisions and appliances you were using when the power went off. Leave one light turned on so you know when the power is restored.
* Avoid opening the refrigerator and freezer. Food will remain fresh for up to four hours or more after the power goes off. If you know a power outage may happen, freeze water in plastic bottles to keep food cool longer.
* If the outage is expected to last for several days or more, consider relocating to a shelter or a friend's home.