During severe winter storms, a home heating system could be inoperative for as long as several days. To minimize discomfort and possible health problems during this time, conserve body heat by dressing warmly; using an alternative heat source, such as a fireplace or portable heater; and confining heating to a single room.
While chances of freezing to death in your home are small, there's a greater danger of death by fire, lack of oxygen or carbon monoxide poisoning from improper use of emergency generators.
In August, 2003, the Northeast US experienced a power outage on a scale not seen in decades. Business was lost, food spoiled, commuters stranded, and traffic lights non-functional in many cities and towns.
This outage was caused by weak links in the electrical power grid infrastructure, but many types of emergency and disaster situations can affect the availability of power.
*Look closely at the map -- where is NYS?
Emergency Contact Information for Major Power Companies in NYS
Natural gas odors/emergencies: 1-800-892-2345 Power Outage: 1-800-867-5222
Critical customer** planning: 1-800-460-0316
NYSEG (New York State Electric & Gas)
Natural gas odors/emergencies 1-800-572-1121 Power outage report: 1-800-572-1131
Critical customer* planning: 1-800-572-1111
RG&E (Rochester Gas & Electric) Power outage report: 1-800-743-1701
Critical customer* planning: 1-800-743-2110
Central Hudson Gas & Electric Co.
Natural gas odors/emergencies 1800-942-8274 Power outage report: 1-800-527-2714
Orange and Rockland Power
Natural Gas odor/emergencies 1-800-533-5325 Power outage report: 1-877-434-4100
ConEdison of New York Power outage report: 1-800-752-6633
What You Need to Know During a Power Outage - Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
Portable Generator Safety - U.S. Fire Administration (USFA)
Preventing Carbon Monoxide poisoning - CDC
University of Maine Cooperative Extension Fact Sheets:
Staying Warm in an Unheated House
Preparing Food During a Power Outage
Safety of Frozen Food During a Power Outage
Safety of Refrigerated Foods During a Power Outage