What to do if the power goes out? 

When the power goes out VEC’s goal is to restore it quickly and safely. Below are recommended safety measures for our members during outages.

First steps to take when the power goes out

-Check to see if your neighbors’ lights are on. If they are, then the problem could be in your home.

-Locate your fuse box or breaker panel to be sure that all fuses are intact or that the breakers are all in the on position. If they are all set, try turning on and off both the main power switch on the fuse box and the main breaker switch on a breaker box.

Still no power? Call Vermont Electric Cooperative (VEC) at 1-800-832-2667 to report the outage and be prepared to provide the following information:

  1. The name on the account for the location of the outage
  2. The account number if you know it
  3. A telephone number where you can be contacted
  4. The nature of the outage, how long you’ve been out and/or anything you may have seen or heard.
Stay safe
  • Before outages occur, charge all cell phones. If you have a landline phone, make sure that it's hard-wired and does not rely on electricity.
  • Fill a bathtub with water before you lose service so the water can be used to flush toilets when the power is out. PREVENT UNSUPERVISED BATHROOM ACCESS TO CHILDREN.
  • Treat any downed line as if it is live. Keep away from downed power lines and debris that is resting on a power line. Report the line to VEC at 1-800-832-2667 and your local fire department.
  • If power goes out, turn off all electrical applicances except one light so you'll know when service returns. Then, turn equipment back on slowly.
  • If using a generator, read and follow the owner's manual before starting it. Never operate a generator inside any structure or near a structure. Use a transfer switch to ensure electricity is not accidentally fed onto a line where line crews must work.
  • Never use grills inside garages, sheds, or other buildings as the fumes can be poisonous.
Be prepared

Being prepared for outages is important, especially during weather related outages where damage can be widespread and repairs may be complex. Having a plan and an emergency outage kit are good ideas for everyone to consider.  Also:

  • If a member of your household is dependent on electricity for life support, be sure to have portable oxygen tanks, backup power and/or a temporary relocation plan.
  • Check on elderly neighbors and relatives.
  • Outage kits should be kept in an accessible location, and should provide for basic needs.
Items should include:
  • Battery powered flashlight(s)
  • Portable radio
  • Extra batteries
  • Battery powered alarm clock
  • Dry and warm clothing
  • Sleeping bags and/or blankets
  • Bottled water
  • Foods which can be consumed with little to no preparation
  • A phone that does not need electricity to work
Keeping Food During an Outage

We often receive questions from our members about how to know whether food is safe to consumer after a power outage. For detailed instructions on keeping food safe during outages, click here to visit the Food Safety.Gov website.