What do you do when the power goes out?

Some tips from Idaho Power to help beat the heat in summer outages

What do you do when the power goes out?

POCATELLO, Idaho - A power outage in Pocatello today left nearly 14,000 people without power for several hours.

The power outage also left several major intersections in town without traffic lights.

After speaking with an Idaho Power spokesperson today, it turns out it was not overloaded due to high use or high heat.

A transformer at the substation just up the hill failed. So they're going to find out what caused it.

However, this brought up really important questions of how to stay cool during such hot temperatures if the power goes out.

Idaho Power says even if the power's not out, there are ways to keep cool that will help if the power does go out.

"If a customer's comfortable leaving their windows open at night," said Lynette Berriochoa, Idaho Power spokesperson, "That helps bring in the cool air during the evening and help displace some of the hot air of the day."

Berriochoa says it's important to recognize if you're in a situation where the heat can take its toll on you. If you're elderly or you have children, it's a perfect opportunity to get out of the house into a public building with air conditioning.

"Sometimes it means relocating and going somewhere like the shopping mall, an office building or the library," Berriochoa said. "It's really critical to get someone out of the heat and into a more comfortable temperature."

She said it's also important to remember to keep hydrated. It may even be cooler outside in a shady spot than inside your home.

While crews work, it's important to remember to be patient.

If you want to watch the folks at Idaho Power work, she said to just make sure you stay out of the way. It's not only for your safety, but for them to work quickly to make sure they get the problem fixed.

"We hope to keep these outages as short as possible," she said. "We respond quickly but it can, like in today's case, take a few hours."

It's important to remember when traffic lights are out to treat them as a four-way stop.

There were several almost-accidents at major intersections because people were just driving through.

The Pocatello Police Department also asked for folks to stop calling into their dispatch during a power outage.

The dispatchers need to direct emergency services and it becomes very difficult when their lines are tied up with calls about utility work. 

For more tips on how to keep your the heat in your house low, while keeping your bill the same way, click here.

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