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Tips for what to do during a power outage on campus

From: Office of Emergency Management

Power outages can happen at any time and be caused by severe weather, damage to power lines, or stress on the power gird. By having a few supplies readily available and knowing some basic steps to preserve life safety and property, you can be better prepared the next time you lose power unexpectedly.

Prepare for a power outage before one occurs
Keep a small flashlight with extra batteries in your desk. Having a small, portable flashlight on your key chain or in your bag can also be helpful during a power outage. Additionally, keep a few glow sticks in your emergency kits; they can provide extra light when activated.

If a power outage occurs on campus
Do not panic and wait for backup generators to engage. Using your emergency flashlight as a light source, unplug all nonessential electrical equipment, televisions, and computers. Turn light switches to the off position as a surge may blow left-on lights and other equipment when power is restored. Contact Facilities Services at 540-231-4300 or for information regarding scope and expected duration of the outage.

Only dial 911 if there is a medical emergency or an immediate threat to the safety of yourself and/or those around you.

If trapped in an elevator
If you or someone else is trapped in a campus elevator during a power outage, call the Virginia Tech Police Department. Provide the dispatcher with specific directions to the location of the inoperative elevator. Remain calm and tell (other) passengers to do the same. Talk to trapped passengers until emergency personnel arrive.

For more information on what to do if there is a power outage, see the OEM guide on Power Outages or contact the Virginia Tech Office of Emergency management at and 540-231-2438.

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