A blackout in NYC is nothing new, unfortunately. Just last Saturday, the heart of New York went into darkness due to unexpected power outage in Manhattan. As a result, about 73,000 people had to endure going on with their daily lives without electricity. The power outage lasted for just three-hours indeed, but that would make a lot of people going frantic in a modern world where almost all activities rely on electric power. Sidney Alvarez, the spokesperson for Con Ed even said that many New Yorkers could expect more power outages this summer because more of them tend to use more electricity to cool off due to high level of humidity and heat.

In preparation of another blackout in NYC, here are some things to know and do beforehand:

  • Know Who to Call. First, you need to check if the power outage actually happened to a lot of people over a reasonably large area. Make time to check the circuit box to see if the blackout has something to do with a circuit board issue or blown-out electric fuse. Con Edison is the largest electricity service provider in NYC, so it would be good idea to check the company’s website or social media account before your phone runs out of power. It would be wise to save the company’s phone number and make the phone call if need be (for example, if the power outage happens without prior notice). The same principle applies to any other service provider you use.
  • Keep your communication devices powered. Not every building or landlord has a generator for tenants in the event of a power outage. Just in case of another blackout, get a battery-powered phone charger or power bank. It is essential to be able to communicate with emergency services – such as police and hospitals – at all times. In addition to that, you can monitor the news from your phone.
  • Download Notify NYC App. It is the City of New York’s official application that gives updated information about emergency situation or planned events in NYC. The application is free and compatible with iOS and Android operating system.
  • Carry a Whistle. Assuming you have the app on your phone, you should get notifications about planned power outages. If you have to leave anywhere during the scheduled time, carry a whistle in case you get stuck inside an elevator or any other enclosed spaces when the blackout happens. According to CNN, thousands were trapped in elevators and subway cars during power outage last Saturday.

blackout in nyc

A power outage can be an emergency situation in many cases such as for people with health problems or disabilities and elderly residents. The NYC’s Office of Emergency Management suggests that everyone in the city has the following items ready at all times:

  • First aid kit
  • Glow sticks
  • A bell or whistle
  • Non-perishable canned foods
  • Manual can opener
  • Battery powered lantern and radio with plenty of extra batteries

Power outages in New York may happen during heat waves and winter storms. If you have to stay at home during such events, please also prepare a gallon of water per person per day as water services may possibly be disturbed along with the electric power.


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