IEMA Provides Safety Tips for Flood Related Power Outages

State officials urge extreme caution when using generators

Springfield -- As flooding persists throughout the State of Illinois, the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) and local emergency managers are encouraging those in the impacted areas to prepare for potential impacts from the prolonged event. These residents should prepare for potential power outages, road closures, flood damage, and more.

Below are some safety tips for power outages and flooding. Take time to prepare yourselves, your families, and your businesses.

Power Outage Preparation

  • Take an inventory of the items you need that rely on electricity, including personal medical equipment. 
    • Talk to your medical provider about a power outage plan for medical devices powered by electricity and refrigerated medicines. Find out how long medication can be stored at higher temperatures and get specific guidance for any medications that are critical for life. 
  • Plan for batteries and other alternatives to meet your needs when the power goes out. 
  • Sign up for local alerts and warning systems, including Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA).
  • Monitor weather reports for the latest forecast information.
  • Check on your neighbors – make sure they are safe and prepared.
  • Determine whether your home phone will work in a power outage and how long battery backup will last.
  • Review the supplies that are available in case of a power outage. Have flashlights with extra batteries for every household member. Have enough nonperishable food and water. 
  • Use a thermometer in the refrigerator and freezer so that you can know the temperature when the power is restored. Throw out food if the temperature is 40 degrees or higher.
  • Keep mobile phones and other electric equipment charged and gas tanks full.

Many residents impacted by floods are turning to portable generators as a result of power failure or to help power flood fighting equipment. Be aware that generators can cause dangerous hazards such as, carbon monoxide poisoning, fire and electrocution.

Here are some safety tips:

  • Do not use a generator indoors or in partially enclosed spaces- including homes, garages, and crawl spaces - even those areas with partial ventilation.
  • Using fans will not prevent carbon monoxide build-up in the home. Do not place the generator in front of open windows.
  • Do not assume that you are safe. Be aware that carbon monoxide fumes emitted by gasoline, propane, diesel or gas engines can be fatal. As carbon monoxide is odorless, people are not aware of its presence.
  • Install carbon monoxide detectors/alarms with battery back up in central locations on every level of your home to alert you of dangerous levels.
Learn more about how you can prepare by visiting